Blaming Mental Illness for Ideology

As the title suggests, This post will be about when mental illness is maligned for the sake of protecting an ideology. Mental illness already has a stigma and it doesn’t help when the media blames clear terrorist actions on mental illness. The mentally ill do not deserve the public’s scorn any more than they already do. The fact of the matter is that the mentally ill do not outperform those without mental illness in violence. If anything, the mentally ill are more prone to self-harm. More importantly there are many reasons people can kill that exclude mental illness.

Let’s take the example of Omar Mateen. Omar was deemed mentally ill, by some media sources. The problem with this line of thought is that it excludes ideology as a factor. If you believe killing people in the name of God is the highest good, don’t be surprised if you find people doing just that. The ideology that Omar Mateen subscribed to was a pro-Martyrdom Islamic ideology. How much of it was informed by Islam proper, or some other variant is unknown. My wish is for the media to stop rushing to judgment and let the facts come out before they start analyzing the situation. The media’s desire to be the first in breaking the story has also made them the first discriminators of false information.

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