Roger L. Simon

‘Mental Health Issues’ No Excuse for Islamic Terrorism

Did Adolf Hitler have “mental health issues”?

I would like to think so, because to regard Der Furher as normal would be a terrifying commentary on the human race and likely mean it would never have survived.

Now how about those ISIS characters who take videos of themselves lopping people’s heads off and then sticking those heads on poles to make a fence? Psychologically normal or not?

And what about those who don suicide vests and blow themselves up in shopping malls while yelling “Allahu Akbar,” killing or maiming any man, woman or child within range? Mentally sound? Let’s hope not.

So you will have to forgive me if I find the current excuse being given for acts of terrorism (of the Islamic sort, needless to say) that the perpetrators had “mental issues” no more than a pernicious, self-deluding cover-up.

We have seen this form of cover-up after Nice where the poor, misguided soul who drove a truck into hundreds of Bastille Day celebrants, killing more than eighty, was said, as an excuse for his behavior, to only recently have been radicalized. That turned out to have been dead wrong, but it would have been irrelevant anyway.

Now we are hearing the same of the Norwegian-Somali (whatever that means exactly) who knifed an American woman to death at London’s Russell Square, injuring several others from various countries. It wasn’t terrorism, we are being told for now by British police, because the 19-year old has “mental issues.”

Well, let’s hope so.

Why don’t we look at this is in a more logical—and vastly more honest—way?

What is it about Islam and its ideology that attracts so many of these disturbed people and turns them violent? That is the question we should be asking as the epidemic of Islamic terror continues to spread across the globe with no end in sight.

Regarding this issue, PJ Media commenter “Ciceronian” had a fascinating response to my own brief comment—”Islamic doctrine attracts crazies for a reason”—on Bridget Johnson’s Wednesday night report on the knifings.

“Islamic doctrine attracts crazies for a reason.”

Beyond that, one could argue that Islamic doctrine actively “creates crazies.”

In effect, it seizes upon the anger, insecurity, and anxiety that often accompany the transition from adolescent to adulthood, and then, via a kind of diabolical alchemy, it transmutes those minor–and, typically, transitory–psychic pathologies into the precious political commodity of murderous rage.

Put another way, Islam reverses and exaggerates the program of psychoanalysis, which was—as Freud put it—to “transform neurotic misery into common unhappiness”: Islam transforms “common unhappiness” not simply into “neurotic misery,” but, much worse, into sociopathic dysfunction.

Makes sense to me. The problem is how do we port all these young Muslim men back to “common unhappiness” when there are so many forces in the world militating against it, including the “mental issues” cover-up now taking its turn?

And speaking of militating forces, the kind coming perpetually from our über-politically correct government, the increasingly invaluable Judicial Watch reported today that our Dept. of Homeland Security uniquely gave Somali immigrants a backstage look at the Minneapolis airport security systems because the Somalis had complained of profiling and harassment there. Good thing those weren’t Norwegian-Somalis, only Minnesota-Somalis.

Oh, wait, isn’t Somalia the home of al-Shabaab, the group that is allied with al Qaeda and was responsible for the 2013 Westgate mall attack in Nairobi that killed 67 and the 2015 university massacre in Garissa, Kenya that dispatched 150, mainly Christian, students?

Not to worry. That was over there. To say they are recruiting over here would be profiling, no?

Okay, maybe a problem, but not to worry again. Minneapolis-St. Paul is only our 17th busiest airport.

Roger L. Simon is a prize-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His book—I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already—is just published by Encounter. You can read an excerpt here. You can see a brief interview about the book with the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal here. You can hear an interview about the book with Mark Levin here. You can order the book here.

(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com and AP elements.)