Religious Fanaticism and its Relationship to Positive Mental Health

Ibrahim bin Azouzi

Dr. Nora Haroun

Abdul Rahman Bey Raqd

Religious fanaticism is a very complex phenomenon due to its many causes and different patterns. The problem of religious fanaticism and its manifestations are concentrated in aggression and to turn this violence buried within the human psyche to other topics in society such as extremism, exclusion of the other, racism, aggression, and its repercussions can extend to armed violence and terrorism.

As is evident in the lived reality, religious fanaticism has effectively affected the reformulation of social interaction patterns between individuals, changing the images of social relations and forming a new pattern of perceptions and ideas of individuals towards each other. The individual achieves himself through the community, so life is not upright with an unresolved conflict, whether it shakes the psychological entity of the human being internally, or externally shakes his connection to the external existence, his existence and his relations with members of his society as a human being.

Religious fanaticism has shaken these relations and created several imbalances in them, affecting the social structures that make up society and all its groups. Among these groups is the university student category, and as an important social group in society that has an impact on the social and cultural relations inside and outside the university space. It is the elite in society; therefore, the students’ way of thinking is reflected through their daily actions and practices.

Religious fanaticism: It is defined as the results obtained in the dimension of religious intolerance from Rahim’s measure of intolerance trends (2006).

Positive mental health: It is defined as the results obtained in the Positive Mental Health Scale (Lukat et al, 2016).

Religious fanaticism is one of the modern problems of society, because of its impact on the psychological and social life of individuals, and there is no doubt that a fanatic does not have a sufficient amount of integrity and mental health, as many previous studies have shown. The emergence of the concept of positive mental health, which means not only psychological and physical safety, but also freedom from disease, the testing of a number of positive emotions, and living a state of satisfaction and happiness in life, has led us to think about the relationship between religious fanaticism and this new concept of positive mental health.

Positive mental health:

The first attempt to systematize the term positive mental health was by Morie Jahoda, an Australian psychologist, in 1958 in her book “current concepts of positive mental health” based on personality theories and clinical psychology. She developed 06 components of positive mental health: self-acceptance, self-development, integration with oneself, independence, awareness of the environment and reality.

The term positive mental health for referral has developed to the union between the emotional, psychological and social well-being necessary for the individual to be in good health. In short, positive mental health refers to positive self-awareness, the world, the future, a positive mood, good social skills and the ability to adapt.

According to Seligman, positive mental health is associated with positive psychology research, including positive emotions, integration, meaning, relationships, and achievement.

Positive mental health is the ability to build and continue relationships, to possess effective coping capacities and interpersonal skills, the ability to give and receive emotional support, the ability for personal growth, independence, and religious practice.

Positive mental health includes the integration of emotional well-being (positive mood), social (relationships with others and society), physical (physical safety), and spirituality (good meaning in life).

Positive Mental Health Scale:

The Positive Mental Health Brief Scale (PMH-Scale) was developed by (Lukat et al, 2016), where the scale contains 09 items that measure positive mental health based on positive psychology theories, and points on a triangular scale. The original researchers have calculated the validity and reliability of the scale, where the internal consistency ranged from 0.57 to 0.78, while the validity of the external friction (with the life satisfaction measure) only reached 0.75 Pearson. While the stability through re-application was 0.77, and through Klondbach’s alpha 0.93.

The lowest point the respondent gets is 1 and the highest point is 27. The levels were determined as follows:

Low: 1-14.

High: 15-27.

In this study, we dealt with religious fanaticism as a global problem that includes all parts of the world, but varies in severity from country to another. Here, the reasons that constitute fertile ground for the spread of hard-line and fanatical ideas towards a certain thought or belief must be addressed, and the trend towards moderation, instead of intolerance, closing-down, and refusing all manifestations of dialogue and communication with the different other. Intolerance leads to the cracking and disintegration of unity, collapse, the emergence of conflicts, and the generation of violence and aggression among members of the same society. Accordingly, the self must be brought closer to the other without completely merging into the other or excluding one of them, but seeking to make its communication according to the specifics of each possible, accepting the other and coexisting with it despite its differences.

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