Eight Brotherhood supporters arrested Friday in Alexandria protests: Police    Rights groups condemn jurisdiction of military courts    Abdel-Shafi joins Egypt's injury list ahead of Senegal, Tunisia qualifiers    Serious fire sweeps through Suez food oil plant    VIDEO: Zakaria screamer lifts Zamalek over Hassan's Ittihad    Molotov cocktails thrown at police station in Giza; no damage    Protesters gather again in Burkina Faso    Egypt prepares for Universal Periodic Review    Muslim men over 50 return to Jerusalem's Aqsa mosque, tension high    Egypt's Pope Tawadros visits Russia to bolster inter-Church dialogue    Barcelona's Neymar eyes Brazil Olympic team call-up    Egypt FM Meets Syrian Opposition Leader in Cairo    US Federal Reserve to End Quantitative Easing Programme    AAIB-Egypt to Provide its Services in Local Currency by Q1/2015    'How to Train Your Dragon 2' boosts DreamWorks results    Sweden Becomes the First E.U. Member to Recognize the State of Palestine    Samsung Seeks Smartphone Revamp to Arrest Profit Slide    Court releases 26 Ultras White Knights detainees    Oil drops below $87 as Fed optimism lifts dollar    Dramatic deterioration of human rights: EIPR    Celebrating Egypt's first aviator    Shell hurt by oil price drop, names new chairman    Activists launch legal guide for homosexuals in Egypt    War reporter-turned movie maker turns camera on Egyptian slums    Where is the media in Egypt?    Egypt Bans Pro-Morsi Pressure Group    UN to Review Egypt's Human Rights Record    Egypt Clears Homes to Make Gaza Buffer Zone    Juventus suffer dramatic first loss in Serie A, Roma win    Egyptians forced to leave Libya want to return due to unemployment    ‘Prison Break' trial postponed to 30 November    Successful overseas dollar bonds launch will strengthen Egyptian economy: Experts    Pope Tawadros visits Moscow    Oil rises above $86 ahead of Fed statement    Family of jailed activist Abdel-Fattah begins sit-in at Supreme Court    Egypt Withdraws Application to Host CAN 2015 over Ebola Fears    Dinner initiative attempts to create world without boarders    Colouring the grey city    Swiss agency approves trial for Ebola vaccine    Danish NGO official deported from Egypt over 'suspicious training'    VIDEO: Koka grabs stunning winner for Rio Ave    Zawya cinema is back, and in the same place    Don't Prejudge Egypt's New Draft NGO Law, Says Minister    VIDEO: Zamalek grab injury-time win to end drought    Katy Perry Cancels 30th Birthday Bash in Egypt amid "Safety Concerns"    Palestine's Mohamed Assaf wins 'Best Middle East Act' at MTV EMA    Royal Museum of Jewellery reopens for first time since 25 January Revolution    Italy-Egypt Partnership Growing, From Culture To Business    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.




Your friends recommend

Quebec: Just a crazy man with a gun?
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 12 - 09 - 2012

Last week in Canada, in the province of Quebec Richard Henry Bain shot and killed Denis Blanchette, who was trying to prevent him from entering the building where Pauline Marois was addressing her Parti Québécois supporters following the Quebec election in which her party won the most seats. The Canadian media reported Bain is bipolar. Isn't that the explanation for his behaviour? Need we look further? Yes, we must.
The behaviour of people who are mentally ill, just as that of those who are not, is determined by the culture and social milieu in which that behaviour takes place. The illness alone does not determine the behaviour. Culture is a determinant both of normative and of deviant behaviour.
For starters, the choice of a gun and the arrival on the scene with various firearms is reflective of the North American (read American) love affair with guns and our preoccupation with them. Bain is into guns in a big way. Then, there is his own declaration upon being captured: “The English are waking up!" and “pay-back time". What is the social context in which these words are uttered?
Pauline Marois ran her campaign as the candidate from Hérouxville. English institutions would be challenged. The English CEGEPs (junior colleges) would be off limits to all but the certified Anglophone minority, thus weakening them. Bill 101, which gives priority to the French language, would be strengthened, at the expense of other languages but especially of English.
Her proposed Charter of Secularism would target ethnic apparel—except for the cross. Bain might well have been driven by her “secularism". The culture-bondage in which she is entwined and which she promotes brings us the milieu in which a psychologically deranged individual might act.
One can look at other instances of such “crazy" behaviour.
Norway's Anders Brevik was found to be sane, but that finding only means that he can be found criminally responsible. It definitely does not mean that he has all his marbles. The cultural milieu in which he was immersed is that of xenophobia, fearing immigrants and Muslims. That is not the general milieu in Norway, but it is not difficult to find it in Norway and internationally. Racism goes world-wide through the internet.
Sirhan Sirhan was clearly mentally ill, though possibly sane in a legal sense, when he shot Robert Kennedy. His behaviour cannot be ascribed simply to his illness. He is a Palestinian who was upset by Kennedy's support of Israel. Without that factor, whatever behaviour in which his illness might have manifested itself, it would not have been in assassinating Kennedy.
The anthropologist Leslie White posed this question: Why do revolutionaries appear only during periods of revolutionary crisis? “Perhaps for the same reason that great rivers so frequently flow past great cities." So why does a Richard Henry Bain arise? What are the “great rivers" that might explain?
Let us pursue this line of reasoning to identify factors in our culture and social milieu that may be things onto which other disturbed individuals might latch to impel them to kill. We have already spoken of the gun as a means. It is also a possible motivation. (“Are you trying to take my guns away?") Bain illustrates the issue of ethnic conflict, and aspects of that conflict could form the cultural basis for “crazy" behavior by a deranged person. Such a person could, for example, be from either English- or French-speaking milieu.
A constant source of conflict is over language policy. Bilingualism in Canada is important, not the least because it provides opportunities. The opposite of that is a lack of opportunity for the unilingual. Our education systems hardly address this matter in an adequate fashion. The social psychologist John Dollard said: “Anticipation of failure is equivalent of anticipation of punishment."
There are times when job requirements of bilingualism are brushed aside, for the favoured candidate for a position. Inevitably, the person promises to learn French. But have you ever heard of a person being appointed on the basis of a promise to learn English?
From time to time, there are killings related to job loss, especially to being fired. The culture of the workplace has changed over the years in two directions. Labour law has put a damper on some of the most egregious treatment of workers, but on the other hand work has become more precarious — part-time, temporary, casual. The workplace is the milieu in which such acts may well occur from time to time.
In short, it is not enough to say that a killer is crazy. We need to look at what made that “crazy" person choose that target, using that method. We need to consider what aspects of our (Canadian) culture might attract a deranged person to such behavior. We might also ask ourselves if there are things that can be done to lessen the risks of such occurrences. To begin, we might look at our love affair with the gun.
Elmasry is a professor emeritus of computer engineering, University of Waterloo. He can be reached at elmasry@thecanadiancharger.com


Clic here to read the story from its source.