The Mind of a Jihadist

By: Harry Foundalis

This page is part of the author’s set of pages on religion.


So, dear non-Muslim reader, you think you can “tame” the jihadists, and reason with them, eh? And you probably think that if you present to them “the other cheek” to be hit — as Jesus suggested — then they’ll feel embarrassment, realizing that their aggressive attitude is all wrong. And, full of shame, they’ll lower the head, humbled by your humbleness, pacified by your pacifism.

What an idiot you are if you think so, dear reader...

In this YouTube video, in the comments section, you can witness the following dialog between someone who appears as a jihadist (or “jihadist wannabe”), writing under the nickname “Maalik Islam”, and someone who states he is an atheist, perhaps raised in a Christian-dominated society, writing under the nickname “pheeel17”. (The excerpt of the discussion shown below appears under a comment first made by “Ed Shawn”.) The spelling of the two interlocutors is given “as is”, without correcting a single character. Maalik Islam’s comments are in green, pheeel17’s in red, and my own interspersed comments in the present (default) color.

Maalik Islam: ISIS violates many rules, but killing kuffar like you is a good thing that they are doing.

Lets say we captured animals like you and we burned you alive. How and where does it ever become wrong in your atheism of vanishing into non-existence with rats and pigs? It never does in your disbelief.
[See my comments, below, to understand what Maalik Islam means by his hard-to-decipher English.] Actually, your atheism is so dangerously evil, that it renders that burning of you alive - equal and the same as if we were nice and good with you in this life. Because all actions that were ever done in this life, becomes the same with one in non-existence according to your disbelief.

pheeel17: Then go join ISIS then, and quit being a coward behind a computer screen.

Here, pheeel17 fails to notice (or to explicitly comment on) the inhuman, “extraterrestrial” mindset of Maalik Islam, so he makes a stupid comment. The “elephant in the room” here, which passes unnoticed by pheeel17, is that Maalik Islam doesn’t show even the slightest empathy toward a human who is burnt alive! But this is precisely the problem: pheeel17 is a human being according to our judgment; but he is not such according to the jihadist’s judgment. According to Maalik Islam, pheeel17, by virtue of being an atheist, is not a human but an animal (“Lets say we captured animals like you”). This is precisely the Nazist ideology, which has resurfaced on the face of the Earth in the 21st century, this time with a different façade: the façade of the Islamist–jihadist ideology. Here is a very relevant excerpt from Sam Harris’s “The End of Faith”,[1] chapter 6: A Science of Good and Evil:

How is it [...] that a Nazi guard could return each day from his labors at the crematoria and be a loving father to his children? The answer is surprisingly straightforward: the Jews he spent the day torturing and killing were not objects of his moral concern. Not only were they outside his moral community; they were antithetical to it. His beliefs about Jews inured(*) him to the natural human sympathies that might have otherwise prevented such behavior.

Now, because my audience is not the same as Harris’s, and knowing that some non-native speakers of English are also reading this, allow me to “translate” Harris’s “academic English” to a language that’s somewhat easier to grasp. Harris is saying that the Nazi torturer and killer of Jews would categorize Jews in a different category than “human”, which was a category that the Nazi reserved for himself and his comrades, his “moral community”. Torturing and killing Jews did not cause any feeling of empathy to the Nazi, because one feels empathy mainly toward humans; but, to the Nazi, a Jew was the opposite of human, so he deserved to be killed in the most atrocious way. Sounds horrible, but there is logic to it, once one starts with as preposterous an axiom as that a Jew is not human.

Notice that most of us feel empathy also toward certain kinds of animals, especially those that seem to have a higher cognition and “understand” what is going on around them and especially about themselves (such as chimps and other apes, cats, dogs, dolphins, etc). Would you expect a Nazi to feel empathy toward such animals? I sure wouldn’t. Clearly, Maalik Islam doesn’t feel any such empathy, because he speaks about burning pheeel17 alive and simultaneously calls him an animal. Just another point in which the Nazi and Islamist ideologies seem to concur.

But the greatest point of concurrence is where both ideologies, Nazism and Islamism, treat the “other” as a piece of nothing, an object that no one among those totalitarian fascists should have any concern about whether “it” feels pain. Do objects feel pain? No. Thus, the Nazi of the WWII times would turn a Jew into soap, processing his or her body as a “thing”. Ditto with our modern-day Islamist: he dreams of burning alive the non-Muslim, and specifically the atheist, convinced that, as a “thing” that he(*) is, pain is an irrelevant issue. Alternatively, perhaps pain is what a burning atheist feels, but then he deserves it, since burning is what Allah has in store for such miscreants as atheists, and even for an eternity. The jihadist simply starts Allah’s job a little sooner.

The last sentences of Maalik Islam are a mere repetition of a dangerous idea that religious people develop: “Without God, everything is allowed.” That’s what the jihadist thinks (and not only him, but most religious people), so he says (paraphrasing): “If I burn you alive, and — according to your belief — there is no God to punish me for that, my act cannot be ascribed a moral/immoral value because there is no one up there (God) to judge me.” The fact that, without God, the jihadist loses the privilege of being “right” (and the non-believers “wrong”), and thus all human beings acquire equal status (all feeling pain in the same way, with pain mattering to all of them equally) never crosses his religiously-damaged mind.

But let’s move on to further depths of wisdom in the jihadist’s thinking. After pheeel17 urges him to go and join ISIS, the jihadist says:

Maalik Islam: I will join the Mujahideen. And it is none of your business when and how I do it. And if it where any group today, then it would either be Jaysh al-Islam, Ahrar ash-Shaam or Jabhat an-Nusrah.

ISIS are khawaarij takfiris
(*). So I don’t recommend any Muslim of Ahlul Sunnah to join them.

Thus, Maalik Islam, as a jihadist-wannabe, is not even a supporter of ISIS! He could join other jihadist groups, such as those that he named. This is a note for those non-Muslims who think that ISIS is the only menace in Islam, and once we get rid of them, Islam will be purified, turning into a nonviolent, unaggressive, serene “religion of peace”. No shit.

pheeel17: Why waiting? Go join those groups then. Quit being a bitch. You talk the talk, but I’m sure you’re too chicken shit. Otherwise you’d have gone to Syria.

Maalik Islam: I have certain obligations and responsibilites unfulfilled. When they are done, then I will insha’Allah Ta’ala.

And you should join the forces of the shaytan fighting for sins, atheism, homosexuality, fornication, usury, paganism and satanism to be upheld until we meet.

But remember, that if you are killed or die in your state of disbelief, then it is finished for you as your soul will be ripped out with great violence and the noble Malãa’ikah (angels) will smite your face and back, giving you the evil tidiings of the utmost severest torments in your grave until you are resurrected therefrom for recompense and justice on the Day of Judgement and then dragged on your face into the a narrow place in the Fire, neither being of the dead nor of the living.

But as for us, it is a win win situation. Dying and leaving the life of this world of the unseen when we could not see our Creator and testing with the Highest level of Eemaan (Faith) and Yaqin (certainty), having light inside our hearts. And the noble Malãa’ikah (angels) will greet us with glad tidings of the Everlasting Gardens of Jannah (Paradise) and the next highest ranks therein after the Prophets. No grief or sorrow will ever touch us. But if we do not get the Shahada (martydom), then we get victory and spoils. So no matter what happens, it is a win win situation for us.

That summarizes the reasons for which not all Muslims are suicide bombers, but all suicide bombers are Muslims: it’s a “win-win situation”, that’s what their imams teach them: you go and fight the infidels, and if you die, you get all the heavenly benefits, whereas if you stay alive and win, you get all the earthly benefits. (But what if you stay alive and lose your battle? That possibility never seems to bother people like Maalik Islam.)

pheeel17: Well please go soon! We’re all eager to see you become a martyr :)


Maalik Islam: Insha’Allah Ta’ala I will and I hope I leave this life of deceiving brief enjoyments as a Shaheed (martyr), having done many good deeds free from major polytheism and minor polytheism like showing off. And thus rewarded with a high rank and dominion in Paradise where I will be ever youthful, and ever beautiful, having my family and wives around me in a dominion greater than this galaxy - abiding in it forever and having all of that which I could ever wish for and desire there whenever I want.

Later, he adds:

Maalik Islam: I was born in Jeddah Saudi Arabia and I have lived in many countries.

At this point, the atheist pheeel17, perhaps influenced by the Christianic concept “We’re all brothers, all human beings — hallelujah!”, outpours a warm feeling of togetherness and brotherhood:

pheeel17: I love you my brother, Inshallah we meet in Saudi Arabia

But Maalik Islam is quick to cut this “love-speech” short, showing his true colors of hatred against the “kaffir” (unbeliever), the “other”, who dared express such feelings of universal love:

Maalik Islam: I’m not your brother. Only the Muslim believers in Tawhid are brothers. Nor would I desire to see you. If I saw you, I would have beaten you for what you said.

The way to deal with your likes is severity and harshness. Just like the ones in france were shot to death until now they ceased their mischief. That is the language your impure kuffar and satanic dead hearts and souls understand.

If I was not severe with you, then you would not have said the lie of loving me and being my brother.

Notice how Maalik Islam interprets the other’s expression of sympathy and friendship as a weakness! He thinks that pheeel17 felt weak, and this weakness caused him, trembling from fear, to lie, saying that he loves Maalik Islam and sees him as his brother. Perhaps Maalik Islam imagines pheeel17 kneeling down in front of him, begging him to accept him as a brother; but Maalik Islam, steadfast in his principle “Thou shalt not make friends with Christians or Jews”(*), full of power endowed to him by Allah, stands strong and — with chin pointing skywards — rejects the proposed friendship of the trembling kaffir pig.

One might think that Maalik Islam is simply an idiot, someone with an exceptionally low IQ, who doesn’t understand human feelings and misinterprets the psychology of his interlocutor. But this is wrong. The show of strength is a fundamental notion in Islam, which they are inculcated with from an early age, because Muhammad himself displayed the same attitude. Various Islamic stories (ahadith) tell them how, on one hand, Muslims made a display of their power, and, on the other hand, non-Muslim Arabs observing this show of strength took it as proof for the truth of the Islamic religion! Moronic, but true — that’s how far the mental faculty of the 7th-century Bedouin Arab could reach.

In summary, this is the mindset of a jihadist: you are an animal, and animals are “things”, unworthy of his concern in a situation in which they are burned alive. Don’t ever imagine expressing feelings of brotherhood and universal love to him. If you idiotically do so, he will construe this as a show of weakness on your part, a proof that you realize how strong and correct he is, and how wrong your beliefs are.

And if you thought that this last observation — concerning the interpretation of feelings of brotherhood and universal love — applies only to jihadists, you’re wrong again. It applies to the average(*) Muslim in general. Here is some evidence about that: a Greek woman doctor who helped refugees from Syria arriving at the Greek island of Lesbos from the Turkish coast, boarding ready-to-sink boats, wrote about her experiences with Syrian-Muslim refugees as follows (I translate from Greek as accurately as I can):

My disappointment is huge, although I continue helping them, and I’ll keep on doing it for a very short time still... There was so much talk about the sophistication of the Syrians... I don’t see it anywhere.

On the contrary: the rudeness, ungratefulness, aggressiveness, and lack of education have chilled my heart.

A mother is wrapped up in a 15-meters-long piece of cloth, but has abandoned her child barefoot on the muddy ground. We struggle to save the life of a baby by using an “air-carrier bridge” (with whose money, really?) we struggle to convince the parents to let us do what is needed [for the baby], and we hear curses because we force them (as if the baby is ours) to leave the harbor area so that their child can be saved. A pregnant woman insists to take a ton of medicines, you don’t give them to her, she curses you, you tell her “either you or your baby”, and she answers she doesn’t care because she has another five.

Another one is giving birth here; some young training doctor, unpaid for months and sleepless for days on end stands by her side all through the night waiting for her to give birth, and she curses because she wanted to give birth in Sweden, not here.

They bring their babies and throw them like sacks on the desks. They curse us because we don’t give antibiotics by the ton for every illness. They ask for glasses because they broke them in the boat, we bring them to the optometrist, we order new ones, and they get angry because they don’t like the frame, or because the lenses are not photo-sensitive.

Another pregnant woman arrives at the harbor and curses you because you don’t do an ultrasound so that she learns what gender her baby is.

And the list of paranoia is endless...

What is the common theme between the above report by the doctor and Maalik Islam’s attitude? It is that, in both cases, the show of friendship and concern about human beings is not appreciated by the Muslim. Perhaps those Muslim refugees perceived the show of solidarity by the Greeks as evidence of weakness, which explains the curses against their benefactors: in that way the Muslims assert their superiority, and show who the boss is: the one with the “perfect religion” — who, temporarily only, ended up shipwrecked on the shores of a kuffar-inhabited island, one that will soon be conquered by Islam.

No; brotherhood and universal love don’t make Muslims widen their horizons and accept some of the unbelievers as human. On the contrary, the effect of such feelings is that Muslims become convinced of the strength of their religion, seeing all those unbelievers bowing down to them in a clear show of weakness.

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Footnotes: (By clicking on ^ you return to the point in the text where the footnote appears.)

^ Note that Harris is using the word “inured” wrongly here. Perhaps he thinks it means “having become insensitive, callous” (“to the natural human sympathies that might have otherwise prevented such behavior.”) As a transitive verb, to “inure” means “to habituate to something undesirable, especially to prolonged subjection; accustom” (American Heritage Dictionary). See also here for Merriam-Webster’s definition.

^ “He” and not “she”, because a female non-Muslim “thing” is always good for satisfying the virile jihadist’s sexual needs in this world — the Qur’an allows it (4:24, 23:5–6).

^ From the Wikipedia: “A takfiri (Arabic: تكفيري‎‎ takfīrī) is a Sunni Muslim who accuses another Muslim (or an adherent of another Abrahamic faith) of apostasy. The accusation itself is called takfir, derived from the word kafir (unbeliever), and is described as when "one who is, or claims to be, a Muslim is declared impure." Accusing other Muslims of being takfiris has become a sectarian slur, particularly since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011. [...] Opponents of the takfiris often view them as modern-day analogues of the Khawarij, a seventh-century offshoot Islamic sect which waged war against the Caliphate.”

^ Qur’an 5:51 — “let alone making friends with atheists”, I would add, except that the author of the Qur’an doesn’t know that atheists exist in this world.

^ And when I say “average” Muslim, I really mean it. I have friends who are Muslims and would never interpret my feelings of love and compassion to them as a sign of my weakness and submission to their faith. But those are Muslims for whom their religion is not a dominant force in their lives. They say they are Muslims, but in reality their “moral landscape” is more like the one of an average human being.


  1. ^ Harris, Sam (2005). The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. W. W. Norton and Company. New Yoerk. (Here it is in Amazon.)

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