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Jihad, the New Mental Illness

Justin Sullivan converted to Islam in September 2014; that was when, says his father, he began “acting combatively.” Just three months later, he murdered a man who was a neighbor of his parents in Morganton, North Carolina. And last week, he was sentenced to life in prison for plotting a jihad massacre in the U.S. for the Islamic State.

But it’s not jihad, it’s “mental illness.”

The Charlotte Observer noted that, at Sullivan’s trial:

… a Durham psychologist … testified that Sullivan suffers from psychological problems that could spiral into full-fledged schizophrenia.

We have seen this sort of thing many times before.

A Muslim was arrested in June 2016 for a jihad plot to attack tourists and police. He was found with a knife and a machete. According to the Telegraph:

[T]he suspect has a history of psychiatric problems and has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, but is considered nonetheless “truly radicalized” with a “serious profile.”

Authorities did not always grant that these supposedly mentally ill jihadis were “truly radicalized.” Last March, a Muslim in Germany attacked a 59-year-old man riding his bicycle, bashing his skull with a hammer. Police announced: “The suspect may have a mental illness.” They stressed that this was not a jihad attack, the attacker was simply “mentally ill.”

Another Muslim in Germany who wounded nine people with an axe in a train station was also not a jihadi; he had “mental health problems.”

In August 2016, a Muslim stabbed six people in London, murdering one of them. The BBC reported:

[T]he Met Police’s assistant commissioner for specialist operations, Mark Rowley, said the investigation was increasingly pointing to the attack being “triggered by mental health issues.”

That same month, a Muslim entered a police station in Toulouse, France and attacked a police officer, stabbing her in the throat -- in strict accord with the Qur’an’s command: “When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks” (47:4). He, too, had a “psychiatric disorder.”

That was also the verdict in the case of Gyulchehra Bobokulova, the Muslim woman who in May 2016 beheaded a four-year-old girl and then paraded her severed head through the streets of Moscow. She screamed “Allahu akbar” while brandishing the girl’s head and said that Allah had ordered her to behead the girl. She seems to have had an Islamic State boyfriend. She had become religious not long before the beheading, and started wearing hijab. She says the beheading was revenge for Russian airstrikes on Muslims in Syria. She told her son to pray five times a day and live in accord with Sharia.

Despite all that, however, she was declared insane and not brought to trial.

Likewise, a Muslim in Paris who stabbed a Jewish woman to death while screaming “Allahu akbar” may not face trial in light of claims that he was not in his right mind when he committed the murder.