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Friday, April 27, 2018

The misogynist trail of the Toronto van attacker

Por Feco

Just before he climbed into a van and ran over a crowd in Toronto on Monday, the suspect in the attack, Alek Minassian, posted a message on Facebook. This 25-year-old computer scientist, residing in Richmond Hill, an area of this Canadian city, spread on the social network a text that referred to a murderer and a misogynist forum on the Internet.

"The soldier (recruit) of infantry Minassian 00010 wishes to speak with Sergeant 4chan. C23249161. The rebellion of incel has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! Everyone, greet the Supreme Knight Elliot Rodger! "Minassian wrote on Facebook, as confirmed by police and the social newtwork’s spokeswoman in Canada, Meg Sinclair. In this message the suspect of the attack refers to incel, a term used on the Internet to refer to involuntary celibacy.

The Reddit page closed an incel forum in November with some 40,000 members because it housed content with a strong misogynist character, in which women were insulted and apology for male violence was made. For their part, Chad and Stacy are used to disparaging men and women who have active sex lives. The police believe that the detainee rented the van, published the lines on Facebook and then drove the vehicle to Yonge Street causing the death of 10 people and leaving 14 injured. The authorities have indicated that they will consider each element that helps to understand what happened, so the message on Facebook, which has already been deleted, will become part of the investigation.

"There is absolutely no space on our platform for people to commit such horrendous acts," Meg Sinclair told the newspaper The Globe and Mail. Minassian's publication is incomprehensible at first. However, some details that have come to light about his life allow us to understand some of the phrases. The first part of the message refers to the Canadian Army. The suspect in the attack was enlisted as a soldier in August 2017, but left training after the first two weeks, according to Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defense of Canada. Former classmates from Minassian have spoken of him as an extremely introverted and "socially awkward" person. The Globe and Mail newspaper interviewed Nikki Feinstein, one of his ex-companions. "He was afraid of women and was very shy in general," he said.

Also, The New York Times spoke with Josh Kirstein, another colleague of Alek Minassian in the past. Kirstein stated that Minassian was afraid that some woman would hurt him. At the end of the message, Minassian wrote the following: " Everyone, greet the Supreme Knight Elliot Rodger!" On May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger committed a massacre near the facilities of the University of California at Santa Barbara. With a knife and a firearm, he killed six people and wounded 13. Rodger committed suicide after committing the events. However, he had previously uploaded a video to YouTube explaining the reasons for his attack: the desire to punish women for rejecting him and the men with more sexual activity than him.

As stated by El País, Minassian's Facebook post has revived a painful memory among some Canadians: on December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine killed 14 women at the Polytechnic of Montreal. He committed suicide minutes later. During the attack, Lépine said he was fighting feminism. The sad issue of hatred continues to darken the world.