TORONTO – In the aftermath of the deadly Toronto van attack that left 10 dead and 14 injured, journalists and commentators have failed to uncover a motive for the senseless actions of the perpetrator, who posted his motive on Facebook immediately before carrying out the attack.
“It’s hard to reconcile an event like this when the motive is unknown, and the suspect’s ideology unclarified,” said Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. “Other than the killer’s admission to participating in a misogynist rebellion and praising a similar anti-feminist murder spree immediately before carrying out his own, we really have no way of inferring why he did what he did.”
“Unlike an act of Islamist extremism, which we can all easily wrap our heads around and exploit to suit our political agenda, this atrocity is particularly vexing because there’s really no way to explain and therefore prevent it,” wrote National Post columnist Barbara Kay.
This confusion is understandable:
Islamist terrorists are easy for pundits and op-ed writers to wrap their heads around, because they are radicalized through online communities where their fears and sense of othering by societies are channeled into anger, hatred and eventually violence. Members of the misogynist “incel” culture that this killer is allegedly a part of, meanwhile, are much harder for media commentators to understand because they are radicalized through online communities where their fears and sense of othering by societies are channeled into anger, hatred and eventually violence.
“Who knows why he did what he did?” added CBC’s Robyrn Urback. “It could have been terrorism, it could have been toxic masculinity, it could have been online radicalization…the fact that none of those things are mutually exclusive is unnervingly complicated.”
“There was simply no warning about the dangerous rise of online misogynists from anyone who works at one of the two legacy newspapers I read.”