I am a pastor and teacher by vocation and training. While I am not a trained and licensed counselor (pastors such as myself are jacks-of-all-trades), I have learned how to spot people who need help. One of the surest signs of a dysfunctional person or relationship or family or institution is an inability to see and/or acknowledge the truth. "He fired me because he just had it in for me," he said at the end of his fourth job in five years. "Daddy slept on the couch last night because he was tired," she explained to the children the next morning after her husband drank himself into oblivion, again, the night before. "I am not angry at anybody," she asserted, her body a signpost of tension.

Many Americans, and almost all American media have a problem that I am going to call American Islamic Dysfunction. They cannot or will not see and/or acknowledge the truth about Islam today. Two recent examples. From an AP story on the death of al Zarqawi, linked by Drudge
For three years, al-Zarqawi orchestrated horrific acts of violence guided by his extremist vision of jihad, or holy war _ first against the U.S. soldiers he considered occupiers of Arab lands, then against the Shiites he considered infidels.
Notice how violent jihad is described--"his extremist vision"--ignoring both the history of conquest in the name of Islam which has occurred from its very beginnings, and the teachings of authoritative Islamic scholars.

And this example from Jihadwatch, in which the words of a leading feminist were edited by USA today in order to omit her references to Islam. (cont.)

America's fishwrap, USA Today, ran an article recently about the feminist movement: "Feminist icons reflect on past." It quotes Phyllis Chesler, author of The Death of Feminism, which contains a harrowing must-read chapter about Chesler's experiences as the wife of a Muslim in Afghanistan.

The article says this:

Chesler believes the future of the movement depends on a global view.
"If we're going to have a future, it's going to have to be a world future," she says. "If our ideas mattered for us and they did so nobly we're going to have to find a way to share that vision universally."

However, Chesler has informed me that that was not all she said, writing me the following in an email:

Here is one of thousands of examples of how we have all failed to influence mainstream liberal media and thinkers. This article was about a gathering of pioneer feminists. This article came out on Wednesday. Please note that the paper removed "Muslim" "Islam," "Islamist," "Islamic gender apartheid" and "jihad" from all my remarks about feminism as a philosophy of universal human rights and about our obligations to extend that vision into the twenty first century. As we all know: The NY Times did not use the word "Muslim" either to describe the sixteen suspected terrorists captured in Toronto this past week--they described Mohammed, Ahmed, Jamal, etc. as "south Asians." Time magazine did not say Muslim either.
The denial is well-nigh universal.

(an okie gardener again) The first step toward healthy functioning is to see and admit the truth. "Our marriage is in trouble." "I am an alcoholic." "My husband beats me." America will remain stuck in dysfunction, in a time of war, until we can see and admit the truth about Islam.