A Jewish psychiatrist and a rabbi – a father and son duo – will give a talk on their respective books, one on Islamophobia and the other on anti-Semitism, Tuesday, April 9 at 7 p.m. at Boswell Books, 2559 N. Downer Ave.
This event is a “rare opportunity to see how the two subject matters overlap,” said Dr. H. Steven Moffic, a psychiatrist for 45 years.
Dr. Moffic is a co-editor of the book “Islamophobia and Psychiatry: Recognition, Prevention, and Treatment.” It is a scholarly book, with color images and original artwork, he said. The textbook was edited by an interfaith team of psychiatrists, including two Muslim psychiatrists and a Christian psychiatrist.
The partnership “worked so well,” he said.
Two-thirds of the chapters in the book were written by Muslim psychiatrists, Dr. Moffic said.
His son, Rabbi Evan Moffic of Congregation Solel in a Chicago suburb, wrote “First the Jews: Combatting the World’s Longest-Running Hate Campaign.” Rabbi Moffic has seen anti-Semitism, “on the frontlines—people in my congregation who are concerned about it,” he said.
Rabbi Moffic does interfaith work throughout the country, making speeches at churches, companies and conferences.
“Anti-Semitism has made a resurgence in the U.S. and it’s scary,” he said.
Anti-Semitism is not just a political, religious and social problem, but a psychological problem, Rabbi Moffic said. “In life, people look for scapegoats. Throughout history, people have blamed the Jews,” he said.
From a psychiatrist’s viewpoint, Muslims go through “micro-traumas” when they are “not treated as normal citizens,” Dr. Moffic said.
Islamophobia does not fall under the diagnostic classification of phobias. People suffering from this psychological condition have a substantial fear of Muslims and Islam and “it is not good for people who have that over-reaction,” Dr. Moffic said.
Dr. Moffic considers Islamophobia to be a “social-psychological problem,” as it can be present in a large group of people, he said.
In the field of psychiatry, “what you learn about how people think and act and feel — you can apply that to everybody in society,” he said.