Three days later…….. from Kim Sengupta’s article in today’s Independent quoting the Nice killer’s father: “For four years, from 2002 to 2004 he had problems, he had a nervous breakdown. He would get very angry, and would break things for no reason, he was put on medication. But the one thing he did not get angry about was religion, he did not go to mosque, he drank.”
We need a grown up discussion of the relationship between mental health and terrorism. If we confuse people with long term mental health issues who attracted to acts of terrorism with die hard terrorists then we will not understand what is going on out there. Confusing mental health with ‘evil’ is retrogressive and will prevent the identification of people who such problems before they act. There have been a number of similar events and the first reaction in the coverage is to imply they are an ISIS terrorist and only then look at the person’s mental health record.