A deadly attack that took place in Canada is now being labeled “incel terrorism” according to law enforcement. It is possibly the first case in history in which an attack based on “incel” ideology is being prosecuted as terrorism.
Incel — short for “involuntary celibate” — is the term used to connote an ideology among men that is “deeply misogynisitic.” Incels view women as sex objects and blame their lack of a sex life on anything but their twisted ideas.
Incel men typically connect with each other through internet communities that spend a lot of time fantasizing about a plethora of sickening actions they would like to exact on women.
In February 2020, a teenager was arrested for a stabbing spree at a Toronto massage parlor. Using a machete, the teen killed one woman and injured two others.
The suspect, who is not being named because he’s still a minor, confessed he wanted to kill as many women as possible.
Incel in an extremist movement that is still on the periphery of mainstream society. Yet collectively, the U.S. and Canada have seen over 50 incel-related deaths. “Incel terrorism” as well as the incel movement has also been classified as “flourishing and ideologically evolving.”
According to a Texas Department of Public Safety report, incel terrorism is “what begins as a personal grievance due to perceived rejection by women [that] may morph into allegiance to, and attempts to further, an incel rebellion.”
Psychiatrist Kamran Ahmed correctly notes that alienated populations don’t just remain as passive outsiders to society; they build alternative models that envelope their interpretation of reality.
“For those who find themselves at odds with the culture of their parents, and yet are met with hostility from the culture of the society they live in, exiting the acculturation paradigm to embrace a ‘third culture’ that provides them with a sense of belonging may be an appealing option,” Ahmed says.
Similar to how other extremists (white supremacists, Antifa) try to leverage “acceleration” to hasten the collapse of society as we know it, Clarion Project’s National Correspondent Shireen Qudosi notes that the “fourth-wave feminist movement” (those with hyper-hostility towards men) can serve to accelerate incel terrorism.
“The fourth-wave feminist movement recently celebrated the fact that there has been a higher number of COVID-19 deaths among men than women. The extremism and misandry of this movement can push already marginalized men beyond the pale.
It is very damaging for normal young men to repeatedly face male-bashing societal messaging that promotes a distorted sense of women’s rights or equality. This breeds a lack of understanding of how to show up as a healthy male in society and can suggest there is no opportunity for them to attain a healthy relationship with a woman.
Take this messaging, pair it with our trend toward fatherless homes, then add in the marginalized men and boys to the mix. It’s all part of the matrix that makes up this movement we are seeing of boy-men who don’t feel like they belong in any existing societal models.”
Preventing violent extremism (PVE) researcher Elliot Friedland comments on the long-term effects of marginalized boys and men turning turn their anger outwards. As we have seen in this current case in Canada, “Nihilism in disenfranchised young men is a national security issue,” he says.
While it needs to be addressed as such, it has all the markings of an extremist movement that would benefit from being addressed in programs to prevent violent extremism, he adds.