December 3, 2023

MOON Desk: The UK’s counter-extremism strategy Prevent is failing to tackle “incel” culture due to its focus on Islamist extremism, an MP for the main opposition Labour Party has warned.
“Incels,” or “involuntarily celibate,” are men who consider themselves unable to attract women and resultantly express hostility toward them.
Despite half of those referred to Prevent for having a “mixed, unstable or unclear ideology” being incels — compared to 22 percent for Islamist extremism and 25 percent for being far right — Prevent does not yet have a category specifically for them.
MP Luke Pollard told The Times that the government needs to amend the strategy to address the rising numbers of young men in Britain joining incel communities online.
“We know there’s a lot of incels who are referred to Prevent and then drop out because a lot of those programs are designed to tackle Islamic or Irish terrorism. Because we don’t track what incel is, we cannot see how many incel-related attacks there are,” he said.
“We don’t have a strategy to tackle incel because we don’t know what it is. The only thing we have is we say it’s not terrorism.”
Pollard said the buck for tackling the issue is being passed among people working in policing, education, social services and health because it is not being prioritized by any one government department.
“Every day that goes by without action, we have incel culture growing online and more young men and adults being radicalized, pushing them toward misogyny — and violent misogyny, in some cases,” he added.
Pollard’s activism in this area follows the killing of five people in his constituency of Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport in 2021 by 22-year-old Jake Davison, who identified as an incel.

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