Paul Lachine

Sind Terroristen geisteskrank?

ORLANDO – Einer der häufigsten landläufigen Irrtümer hinsichtlich der Ursachen des Terrorismus ist die Vorstellung, dass Terroristen angesichts ihrer Taten wohl „geisteskrank“ sein  müssen. Diese Vorstellung ist ebenso tröstlich wie falsch.  

Konservative in den Vereinigten Staaten beispielsweise wettern häufig gegen den „Wahnsinn“ islamischer Terroristen und betrachten Versuche, den Terrorismus zu verstehen, als Auswüchse des Liberalismus und überzogener Beschwichtigungspolitik. Vor allem im Gefolge des 11. September 2001 verwechselten viele Rechte den Versuch, die Taten der Terroristen zu verstehen oder zu erklären, mit einem Vorstoß, deren Taten zu entschuldigen.

So weit waren wir allerdings schon einmal. Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg setzte sich in der allgemeinen Vorstellung der Mythos des „wahnsinnigen Nazis“ fest.  Nur geistesgestörte Individuen könnten so etwas wie den Holocaust verüben. Aber die sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung in den 1940er und 1950er Jahren, zu der auch Gespräche mit hochrangigen überlebenden Nazis gehörten, zeigte, dass die Mitglieder der deutschen Führungshierarchie nicht nur geistig gesund, sondern auch hochintelligent waren.

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