Four American Students have been attacked with acid in France. This horrific crime is on the increase across Europe with many attacks taking place in London this year alone. The students were very lucky only to receive minor injuries, but these attacks can be shocking, brutal and disfiguring.
The person responsible has been identified as a 41-year-old woman. The prosecutor has announced that she had a history of mental illness and that she ” didn’t make any extremist declarations during the attack.” As such the police are not treating this as a terrorist act.
But here;s the thing. When attacks in Europe are committed by a single person, why is it often described as “committed by a person with a history of mental illness?” It has almost become a watchword to cover up the fact that this is someone attacking in the name of Islam. Now sure, we don’t even know if this woman was a Muslim, but the absolute vagueness of official statements does more to promote the idea than anything else.
It is a common form of attack in Muslim countries because it disfigures and hurts but cannot be classified as attempted murder. IN a culture that has honor killings and basically ownership of women, this is an unsurprising “retribution.”
The students were extremely lucky this time. The next group of victims may not be.