[This post is part of the Guillermo Fariñas Blogburst, organized by Fausta.]
Schizophrenia is generally considered the most devastating of all psychiatric illnesses. It is a condition in which the sufferer feels like they are "losing their mind" and in some cases, actually experience their own minds as being out of their control. All of us have "crazy" thoughts form time to time, and many, perhaps most people, experience intrusive and unwanted thoughts on occasion. However, for the Schizophrenic who suffers form Paranoia, the intrusive thoughts and "crazy" thoughts can come to predominate their minds. They literally feel as if someone, or some powerful force, is controlling their minds. The terror that this evokes is hard to appreciate.
The worst totalitarian ideologies attempt to impose just this kind of thought control on their subjects. Most people are aware of the case of Abdul Rahman, an Afghani who converted to Christianity many years ago and is now being prosecuted for apostasy, which carries a death sentence under the interpretation of Sharia law prevalent in large swaths of the Muslim world. Michelle Malkin has an excellent summary and includes a link to this Eugene Volokh's post:
The striking thing about the Abdul Rahman prosecution — in which an Afghanistan court is considering whether to execute Rahman because he converted from Islam to Christianity — is how Establishment the prosecution is. The case is before an official Afghani court. The death sentence is, to my knowlege, authorized by official Afghani law. The New York Times reports that the prosecutor, an Afghan government official, "called Mr. Rahman 'a microbe' who 'should be killed.'"