Part of psychological subversion is the destruction of principle. When a person has principles, those principles serve as an anchor that stabilizes one’s psyche. Principles provide structure that allows one to make sense of the world and live in that world in a productive way. Without that, a person is lost in a turbulent sea of confusion and fear.
Psychological subversion involves disrupting this stability. This can be done purely out of maliciousness or it can be done in order to take control of the person. If a person’s principles can be undermined, that anchor, that structure is lost and the person will instinctively grasp onto anything else to replace that. A ruling power can take advantage of this.
An example of psychological subversion that people may be familiar with is what the Communist Chinese are doing to the Uighurs. Part of the anti-Islam project is to force Uighurs to eat pork, drink alcohol, break the fast in Ramadan, and generally violate basic Islamic tenets. In Syria, Assad’s torture regime forces opposition captives to declare that “There is no god except Bashar.” This is psychological warfare meant to induce an acute sense of hypocrisy, namely, a tension between one’s actions and one’s principles that can be resolved if one simply discards the principles.
What these regimes want is for the Uighurs or the Syrian opposition, etc., to abandon their loyalty and allegiance to Islamic principles and embrace their respective regimes. This is control.
Satan himself also uses this method. As we fall into sin, Satan whispers to us, “See, you are a hypocrite. Better to abandon your principles than remain in this state of hypocrisy.” This is a very effective form of manipulation because, rather than stick to the principle, lower oneself and repent, many opt to jettison the principle and embrace their sin, justifying it, advertising it, etc. If one does this enough, then the result is Satan takes control.
Similar tactics are used in the US against the US population (and the UK, Canada, South Africa, etc). The biggest tool for this is bipartisan politics. The framing of all politics into left wing vs. right wing is a weapon that constantly attacks any semblance of moral principle. Every mistake, crime, injustice committed by the right wing has also been committed by the left wing and vice versa. The same left wing activists who denounced conservative George Bush’s surveillance defended the exact same policy when Obama became president. The same right wing pundits who denounced Obama’s executive overreach praised Trump for his. And on and on.
The only way to play the game is to pick a side but picking a side means being in a perpetual state of inconsistency. No principle can ever be consistently applied which means that there are no principles and one can only exercise blind allegiance to a party.
What we have seen in the past few months is psychological subversion on steroids. And the Muslim community has been swept up in it. There is no consistency on any issue. Instead, we see blind partisanship to political factions.
The most obvious example is how quickly and eagerly some Muslim orgs and figures shut down masajid because of mass hysteria fabricated around what now most are finally admitting is a low-fatality infection that even health organizations like the CDC and WHO are comparing to the flu. Why did these Muslims so quickly abandon their mosques, congregational salah, jumua, tarawih, eid prayers, leaving most masajid in dire financial straits and many imams unemployed? Where was the resistance to this massive own goal that has severely crippled the Muslim community’s infrastructure throughout the West?
This is a question that will be asked and analyzed for many years to come, but the simple answer is blind partisanship. Many Muslim figures and celebrities have politically aligned with the left and the left hyperinflated the threat of the disease as a political weapon against the right. The result? Mosques were closing weeks before government policy required them to do so. And the mosques are also remaining shut weeks after government policy has allowed them to open up. Even those who want to insist that the virus is extremely dangerous can’t explain why the mosques should remain closed or heavily restricted after the health agencies like the CDC themselves have given the green light.
But maybe it wasn’t blind partisanship. Maybe the extended closure of masajid is based on a principle of preserving public health. Maybe the constant stream of videos and live streams and condescending edicts from these self-appointed leaders to “stay at home” were based on this principle.
If so, then why are those same figures and organizations not continuing their calls for isolation and quarantine now that protesting and rioting have begun? In fact, some of the figures who were most adamant about “pray at home” are encouraging Muslims go out and protest and proudly sharing pictures of hijabis marching in the streets. What happened to preserving health, lowering infection, flattening the curve, and all the other justifications used to keep masajid closed? The only explanation is leftist partisanship over principle.
An ayah that often comes to mind in these situations is from Surat al-Munafiqun:
“And when you see [the hypocrites], their forms please you, and if they speak, you listen to their speech. It is as if they were pieces of wood propped up. They think that every shout is against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?”
To be fair, there is no shortage of hypocrisy on the right either. Many on the right were protesting lockdown while praising Trump, but it was Trump who ultimately endorsed the lockdown.
Many right wingers were also protesting police enforcement of the lockdown, rightfully complaining that the US was becoming a police state. But many of those same people now support the police in the Floyd killing and police power generally. Obviously this hypocrisy is mirrored by the left, who embraced the lockdown and cheered when police violently detained mothers and families who just wanted to go to public parks, etc., but decry police brutality against blacks, when in reality these are different manifestations of the same underlying thing: state authority and violence.
There are also some who have defended looting, burning down property, beating random white bystanders to death, etc., with moronic justifications that betray a complete lack of principle. This lack of consistency represents complete psychological subversion, where even the heinous crimes are glorified.
I am not surprised to hear reports of plain clothes police and even FBI provoking violence and stirring riots. This further muddies the waters for the population. Who is in the right? Who should be supported? Where does justice lie? If you are having trouble making sense of these current events and remaining consistent, it’s by design.
In the novel 1984, the main character is tortured by the state until he admits that 2+2=5. By the end, he not only admits it but truly believes it. The principle of basic logical consistency is the last principle to be expunged from his psyche as he is transformed into a mindless devotee of the state. This is his end.
Muslims have to decide whether that is what they want. Do we want Islamic principles and consistency? Or do we want to continue to blindly follow whatever the mainstream political establishment demands (while selectively sprinkling in Quran and hadith to make such slavishness seem “Islamic”)?