As expected, Tuesday’s vicious knife attack in the centre of the Australian city of Sydney, is being claimed by the mainstream media and politicians as being the result of ‘mental illness’. However, anyone who has seen the latest video of the attacker, said to be named Mert Ney, originally from a Turkish-Cypriot family, screaming ‘Allah hu Akbar’ in the police van, knows better than to treat this as merely a madman suddenly going mad.
As time has gone on more information has come out about the alleged attacker including claims that Ney had talked often with friends about the idea of converting to Islam and had recently converted to this death cult. This allegation, as we know from many other cases of mentally ill people choosing Islam, does go some way to disposing of the idea that this attack, which left one young woman dead and other people injured, was primarily motivated by mental illness. Former schoolfriends of twenty-one year old Ney have told the Daily Mail that the alleged attacker was often talking about converting to Islam and had a history of acting ‘odd’.
Whilst I have little doubt that Ney was suffering from some form of mental illness and had a criminal record that included possession of a prohibited weapon, a knuckleduster, the motivation for this attack and its style is pure Islam. When other mentally ill people go off the rails and behave violently the reason for the outrage can often be found in that person’s delusions or lack of connection to reality. Such individuals may imagine that they have been slighted in some way or that their paranoia leads them to believe that those they are attacking are ‘out to get them’. When we look back at other cases where mentally ill people have taken lives we often see an internal motivation for the attacks not an external religious one as is the case with Ney.
What may well have happened in this case is that a mentally ill person with a penchant for violence became wrapped up with an ideology, Islam, that both affirmed and validated Ney’s inherent violence. Of course Ney had a history of mental health problems and had recently absconded from a mental health facility just prior to the attack, but Ney’s screaming of the words ‘Allah hu Akbar’ during the attack does put this in the category of an Islam related incident.
Yet again we have a case of an unstable and violent person becoming enamoured with and joining a cult that is itself unstable and violent. This attack was not purely one where a person suffers a mental health crisis and goes all stabby, but one where Islam has motivated him to commit this attack and kill and injure innocent people. The problem of unstable people cleaving to an ideology that loves and reveres violence towards non Muslims is only going to get worse as more individuals fall through the mental health safety net and end up in the clutches of those within Islam who want to weaponise such individuals for their own ends. You don’t have to be mad to accept and embrace Islam but it most certainly seems to help as we can see very clearly from the case of Mert Ney.