We’ve had many attempts to deny Islamic terrorism is, well, Islamic terrorism. It’s been described instead as merely extremist terrorism, or mental illness or even non-Muslim terrorism.
Janey Stephensen, a “policy researcher who specialises in gender-based violence” writing in the Independent, tries another:
We need to name the real culprit: toxic masculinity.
Really? Then why are so many of these toxic males shouting “Allahu akbar” as they slaughter the innocent?
Strange coincidence, no?
But Stephenson ploughs on:
As the attacks mount up, the individual profiling descends into morbid freefall and we overlook the most basic commonality: these crimes were all committed by men.
Er, actually no. For instance:
Moderator David Bedein, whose Center for Near East Policy Research was a co-sponsor of the event, showed clips taken several years ago of interviews with Palestinian female would-be suicide bombers who had survived, been treated in Israeli hospitals and incarcerated. At the time of the interviews, there were more than a hundred such women, said Bedein….
In the interviews, the women expressed no remorse or regret. They had felt blessed just before embarking on their missions, because they were about to meet Allah and would see the martyrs in paradise.
Islamic State is using increasing numbers of women to evade security measures and spearhead a wave of attacks across Europe and the Islamic world…
Since August, a series of plots involving women have been uncovered by security authorities in Europe and north Africa… A plot in Paris in September, involving four women aged between 19 and 39, received significant media coverage. The cell, organised by a known Isis militant in France, was the first to be entirely female…
But a series of other plots around the world, which involve women playing “combat” roles, received less attention. In August, Isis was reported to have deployed at least one female suicide bomber in Libya, while last month 10 alleged female attackers were arrested in Morocco. All were in their teens, had sworn allegiance to Isis, and were in possession of bomb-making material, officials said…
Palestinian groups have used women suicide attackers. So, too, have organisations in central Asia and the Caucasus…. Al-Qaida’s own affiliate in Iraq deployed a female suicide bomber in 2005 to attack a hotel in Amman, Jordan.
But Stephenson will not be deterred. The enemy is men:
… typical masculinity promotes emotional disconnection… We need to acknowledge that hateful, toxic masculinity is bred among us in the everyday. We need to start pulling apart and dismantling its roots in male entitlement and structures that promote masculine supremacy.
Note that Stephenson’s solution to fighting jihadism is to attack men at home and remake the “structures that promote masculine supremacy”, which is hardly like to deter a suicide bomber flying in from Libya.
In fact, it is precisely those men at home most likely to protect Stephenson that she considers her enemies:
Toxic masculinity exists on political levels: in policing, prisons, immigration detention centres and controlling security measures…. soldiers are paid mass murderers.
As Kipling said: “Making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep.”
Here is a thought for Stephenson, so desperate to blame men as the source of all evil. Every single one of the terrorists was born to a woman and raised by a woman.
Did women teach them to hate and to kill?
Toxic mothers. Discuss.