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Terror in Europe

Mental Health And Jihad, Are Islamic Terrorists Insane?

Voltaire reminds us that today's Islamic fanaticism is a kind of pathology of religious faith.

Last month's trial of Mahmoud O. in Germany
Last month's trial of Mahmoud O. in Germany
Roger-Pol Droit

PARIS — So who was Stephen Paddock? Was the Las Vegas assassin a "very, very sick individual", as described by Donald Trump? Or a jihadist combatant, recently converted, as ISIS maintains? Or both — or neither? For now, there is no clear response to these questions. But an analogous perplexity returns, again and again, as acts of violence proliferate around the world. In France, in Europe, in the United States, from knife attacks to truck massacres, from shootings to assaults, the same question continues to resurfaces: are we dealing with a "real" terrorist or a mentally ill person? A fanatic or someone unstable? I believe that while this question no doubt is legitimate, it is extremely limited. What is worse, instead, is that it risks making us blind to a more fundamental philosophical analysis that is sorely needed.

The practical scope of this question has to do with the police, first and foremost. The investigation is vastly different, for the police and for the specialized services, if an assailant is a psychopath caught up in some fit of delirium rather than a trained jihadist, acting on orders, as part of a network, controlled by an organization. Despite all this, the boundary between the two is not necessarily easy to trace, because multiple factors tend to blur together.

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Society

Taking A Position: A Call To Regulate Yoga In India

Trained practitioners warn that unregulated yoga can be detrimental to people's health. The government in India, where the ancient practice was invented, knows this very well — yet continues to postpone regulation.

Prime Minister Modi at a mass yoga demonstration in Lucknow, India

Banjot Kaur

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the observance of the eighth International Yoga Day from Mysuru, in southwestern India, early on the morning of June 21. Together with his colleagues from the Bharatiya Janata Party, he set out to mark the occasion in various parts of the country — reviving an annual ritual that had to take a break for the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoga is one of the five kinds of alternative Indian medicine listed under India’s AYUSH efforts — standing for "Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and naturopathy, and Homeopathy." Among them, only yoga is yet to be regulated under any Act of Parliament: All other practices are governed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), Act 2020.

Yoga and naturopathy are taught at the undergraduate level in 70 medical colleges across 14 Indian states. The Mangalore University in Karnataka first launched this course in 1989; today, these subjects are also taught at the postgraduate level.

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