Amidst all the sound and fury of this grim double anniversary, will anyone see to the heart of the matter?

On this day, we remember both the Manchester Arena bombing and the murder of Lee Rigby, respectively three and seven years ago. You’ll hear a lot of platitudes about solidarity, and a lot of angry talk about Islam and immigration. What you might not hear, though, is that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes were, like so many others, heavy cannabis smokers.

For many months, I deliberately did not include a “terrorism” page alongside the murder, violence, suicide, and rape pages on my website Attacker Smoked Cannabis, and nor did I include any such attacks in my book of the same name. This is for the sad reason that the ethnicity and (especially) the religion of these men clouds many people’s judgement, and often brings swift and furious accusations of being an apologist for Islam, which in my case is, to put it mildly, untrue.

The Streatham street attack in February of this year was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The current list stands at ten, including the 7/7 bombings, the Finsbury Park Mosque attack, and the pitiful would-be shoe bomber. It’s certainly a great deal smaller than the lists on the murder and violence pages, and may, in fact, sound insignificant, but bear in mind the following.

First, these are only the cases in which it has been stated as a fact that the attacker smoked cannabis; in many other cases, including most foiled attacks, there is good reason to believe the attack or plot followed years of heavy cannabis smoking.

Second, I include only incidents in the UK or Ireland; in the “terrorist” attacks in Nice, Berlin, Tunisia, Copenhagen, Brussels, Paris (both the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ and larger November attack), Boston, Times Square, Quebec, Sydney, and elsewhere in recent years, wouldn’t you know it, the alleged Muslim fanatics turn out to have been cannabis smokers, in some cases up to the moment they carried out their atrocity.

Why does this matter? Because cannabis alters perceptions and behaviour, and induces, amongst other things, paranoia; and because it might be that a mind dulled and warped by cannabis finds it easier to plunge a knife into someone repeatedly, or run a lot of people over, or blow a lot of people up.

Does large-scale Muslim immigration to Britain matter? Yes. Is the growing presence of Islam important? Of course. Should we be concerned about knives, fatherless families, passionate imams and Islamic holy books in prison? Certainly. But we could deport or lock up every Muslim, close every Islamic school and remove every trace of Islam from Britain, and, as long as we allow cannabis and other mind-altering pleasure drugs to proliferate, deranged young men will commit psychotic acts of violence against themselves or others, or both.

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Read more by Ross Grainger on his blog, here.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.