Some concerned Malaysians have called for sanity to prevail in imposing Islamic values and culture on non-Muslims, in demanding that the sudden rise of the “sensitivities” of some Muslims be respected. Why call for sanity if there is no insanity in the first place?
The call was due to the increasing incidences of certain people in authority (little Napoleons) who believe they are holier than the rest and who get agitated and hallucinate about anything they think or imagine is ‘un-Islamic’ – e.g. buildings or structures, clothing, food, concerts, etc.
Easily agitated people may be suffering from a mental health issue. The word is defined as “worry and anxiety that you show by behaving in a nervous way”.
“Hallucination” is the fact of seeming to see or hear somebody/something that is not really there, especially because of illness or drugs.
“Schizophrenia” is explained as a serious disorder which affects how a person thinks, feels and acts. Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary.
“Paranoia” involves intense anxious or fearful feelings and thoughts often related to persecution, threat, or conspiracy. Paranoia occurs in many mental disorders, but is most often present in psychotic disorders. Paranoia can become delusions, when irrational thoughts and beliefs become so fixed that nothing (including contrary evidence) can convince a person that what they think or feel is not true.
Can one get ‘drugged’ by religion? If one is so obsessed with it, then this is not far-fetched. It will surely impact the brain. There is no better example than the brutal ISIS who are fed a version of Islam that is totally different from the real Islam, and whose minds have been so impacted that they believe torturing and killing others is the surest way to heaven and the 72 virgins waiting there for each of them.
If the people exhibiting all these traits of behaviour were not hiding behind the veils of religion, wouldn’t the authorities have rounded them up and sent them for psychiatric evaluation and treatment/counselling by now?
Religious cover gives legitimacy to these people with disordered minds to carry on and create ill-will in multiracial Malaysia.
If we are so concerned about controlling denggi, about zika, about the non-immunisation of children, about obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, etc, why are we not equally concerned about this mental illness that is spreading in the name of religion?
According to the 2011 National Health and Morbidity Survey, 12% of Malaysians aged between 18 and 60 are suffering from some forms of mental illness. Of the percentage affected by mental illness, depression made up 2%, psychosis 1%, worrying 1.8%, while the rest involved anxiety disorder, which is a chronic disease, and mild mental diseases. In November last year, the figure had risen to 30%. These figures do not include cases of religion-induced mental illnesses!
Isn’t it time the Ministry of Health (MOH) put in place a full-fledged programme for counselling and treating all those suffering religious anxiety and schizophrenia so they can see that the faith of the Muslims is not going to be destroyed if they see ladies or photos of ladies ‘scantily dressed’, if they see crosses on churches, if they see the temples and shrines of the others, if they go to concerts?
The MOH clearly states that anxiety disorder is a chronic disease. ISIS is the very extreme of this illness, but all illnesses have ‘soft’ beginnings.