Six people were killed when 22-year-old terrorist Jake Davison, a self-described ‘incel’, launched a shocking wave of violence against his family and members of his community. Davison first killed his own mother. Soon after, he murdered a 3-year-old girl and her father, and then followed by taking the lives of a 59-year-old man and a 66-year-old woman. Finally, he then cowardly chose to take his own life. The appalling mass murders, which took place on the evening of Thursday August 12, shine a spotlight on the so-called ‘incel’ culture and its extreme misogynistic roots.  
Davison, an apprentice crane operator who worked at the defence firm Babcock International, had a license to own a particular firearm since 2018. Police believe that it was this shotgun in question that was used in the appalling killings.
Police forces around the UK, and in particular Devon and Cornwall Police, face renewed scrutiny today over the already stringent and restrictive gun laws in the country. It is peculiar that despite these measures being in place, Davison was somehow allowed to possess weapons. Even more noteworthy is that Davison’s mother, Maxine, had previously expressed alarm over his mental health in 2016. There is also the matter of the true motive behind the killing, and the twisted ideology that reportedly led to Davison’s rampage.
A source close to the killer’s family said of Davison’s mental health troubles:
“Maxine and her children spent some time on Shetland and it was well-known that Jake had suffered from mental health issues for most of his life and he had deteriorated recently and his mum was begging for help from the authorities but nobody did a welfare check.
“She has paid a heavy price for this. The family are devastated this has happened. Maxine had spent time in Shetland where her brother lives along with her nieces and nephews. We are all shocked Jake has done this.” 
The so-called ‘incel’ (abbreviated from ‘involuntary celibate’) culture is a relatively recent phenomenon, which began in around 1993. This was when a Canadian university student created a website in order to discuss her lack of sexual activity with others.
However, the concept took a disturbing turn, chiefly in the late 2000s and early 2010s. By May 2014, it was a fully-fledged and sickening online subculture when 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people and wounded fourteen others in a shooting and stabbing spree in Isla Vista, California. He was part of an online community which blames women for their sexual failings, thus holding extreme hate-filled views of them. Prior to committing his murders, he released a 137-page ‘manifesto’ in which he detailed his plans to get revenge against all the women he claimed had rejected him. 
To this end, the Southern Poverty Law Center has critically described the ‘incel’ movement as being a “part of the online male supremacist ecosystem”.  Indeed, there have been other notable mass murders, such as that of Chris Harper-Mercer, who killed nine and injured eight others in an October 2015 attack. He also left a ‘manifesto’ indicating his keen interest in other massacres, and how he understood the views that Rodger had espoused previously. In fact, in his diary entries, Harper-Mercer unspeakably viewed people like Elliot Rodger and other mass shooters as “people who stand with the gods”.  
Moreover, in April 2018, there was the case of the Canadian Alek Minassian, who engaged in misogynistic terrorism by ramming and killing ten pedestrians and wounding sixteen. Notably, eight of the ten deceased victims were women. Investigators later found a Facebook post, in which Minassian had identified himself as an ‘incel’. 
Concerning the case of Jake Davison and his ‘incel’-inspired killings, Devon and Cornwall Police said that the decision to originally deem the incident as being unrelated to terrorism was taken by the National Counter Terrorism Policing Network. However, in light of the investigation into Davison’s links to ‘incel’ culture, police have said that they may need to reclassify it. 
Speaking in the initial aftermath of the murders, the chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, Shaun Sawyer, said: “We are not considering terrorism or a relationship with any far-right group.” However, in a statement on Monday, a force spokeswoman changed their position, stating instead:
“The decision that this incident is not a terrorist incident was made by the National Counter Terrorism Network following a referral from Devon and Cornwall Police. The status of this will be kept under continual review and a further referral made should new information come to light.
“We are aware of Davison’s interest and engagement with the Incel movement and his use of various online platforms, and this forms a key strand within the ongoing police investigation.” 
The tragic loss of life in Plymouth is a stark reminder to all – Muslims and non-Muslims – that we live in societies that espouse alarmingly dangerous views, particularly towards women. While the Plymouth mass murder may not be deemed as terrorism by mainstream media, it is nevertheless imperative that we take heed of such murderous events as a wake-up call to refocus our efforts on adhering to the correct teachings of Islam. We must also bolster Islamic teachings concerning the two sexes, and their respective rights and responsibilities. We must continue to ensure that we rear our children with an Islamic upbringing, emphasising to them the importance of having self-respect, as well as maintaining modesty, chastity, and dignity.
It is surprising to know that the so-called ‘incel’ movement has grown to unimaginable heights in a few short years, where the ‘community’ is founded upon majority-male online participants who are sexually frustrated and blame women for their ‘predicament’. It ought to be a reminder that we should be ever watchful of facets of Western culture, such as the ‘incel’ subculture; whether we like it or not, we are a part of such a society. Ultimately, we need to be careful to not fall prey to such obscene beliefs, but to counter them with all our might.