Ideology and Violence: Why Charging Incels with Terrorism May Make Matters Worse
In late February 2020, a 17-year-old was arrested after allegedly stabbing two women at a massage parlour in Toronto’s north end. One woman died and the other was seriously wounded in the attack. The accused was initially charged with first degree murder and attempted murder under the Criminal Code. When investigation into the accused’s social media presence revealed that the attack may have been inspired by the misogynist “incel” ideology, prosecutors modified the charges to include “terrorist” designations. Incels -short for “involuntary celibates” – are men who feel they deserve sex from women, but who cannot attract them and so become deeply angry. Whereas this frustration has led to violence on numerous occasions, these charges represent two important firsts: the first time incel violence has been formally charged as terrorism, and the first time Canada’s anti-terrorism laws have been used against an accused who was not alleged to be linked to Islamic terror groups.
This raises many questions about how we define “terrorism” and how Canadian law can – or should – address it. These are rich lines to explore with students, and OJEN has tools to help you do it.
Please join us as we welcome Prof. Reem Bahdi of the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor and Fahad Ahmad of the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University as they help us explore these issues!
Webinar date: February 17, 2021
OJEN offers special thanks to the Law Foundation of Ontario, whose funding made this webinar and so many other crucial projects possible.