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No, the racist mass shooter in Hanau, Germany was NOT an incel

A makeshift memorial for the victims in Hanau

By David Futrelle

On Wednesday night, a gunman opened fire on patrons at two separate hookah bars in Hanau, Germany, killing nine; he and his elderly mother were later found dead in his apartment.

Like many mass shooters today, he left behind a manifesto (link available on request), one that revealed him to be a genocidal racist and eugenicist who wanted the people in a wide swath of countries — from North Africa all the way to the Philippines — to be wiped off the face of the earth. His massacre — which seems to have been directed at Turkish immigrants, the main patrons of the bars he chose to target — was his way of getting attention to his genocidal ideas.

He also wove a strange and paranoid tale about his own life, claiming that he had been monitored since birth by a shadowy agency eager to hear and capitalize on his thoughts. He claims, among other things, that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were his idea, that Donald Trump stole his slogan “America First,” and that he came up with the basic premises of a number of Hollywood movies and TV shows, from “Look Who’s Talking,” “The Cell,” and “Prison Break.” He also believes that the “invisible people” monitoring him can read (and control) minds. This portion of his manifesto reads less like a political declaration than the ramblings of a paranoid schizophrenic.

The 43-year-old shooter also made a few remarks, almost in passing, suggesting that he had never had a girlfriend, and some have taken this to mean that he was an “incel” This non-factual “fact” has made it into several news stories so far, and even onto Wikipedia,with The Sun describing him in a headline as an “‘Incel’ terrorist” and offering up a potted history of the incel movement to explain his rage. Meanwhile, The Independent (which should know better) made the contradictory claim that he

identified as an “incel”, and wrote that he had not been in a relationship with a woman, out of choice, for the past 18 years. 

You can see the problem immediately; this is a claim that rebuts itself. “Incel” stands for “involuntary celibate”; anyone who claims to be celibate by choice is by definition not an incel. The shooter claims that in his younger years, from his mid-teens through his early twenties, he simply could not find a girlfriend who lived up to his exacting standards. “[T]o take a less good looking woman,” he wrote, “was out of the question – I wanted the best or nothing.”

In the years since then, he claimed that he remained single because “I know that I’m being monitored.”

There is no trace of the incel ideology anywhere in the shooter’s manifesto — no incel lingo, no rants against too-picky “femoids”or too-handsome Chads, no disquisitions on some lost golden age when every good man was able to date and ultimately marry his “looksmatch.” Unlike incels, the shooter did not blame women for rejecting him, nor (as far as we can tell from the manifesto) did he blame society for encouraging these women to “ride the cock carousel” with everyone but him.

Incel ideology is all about cultivating a deep sense of grievance toward women and feminism; the shooter’s grievances were directed at immigrants and Muslims and people of color generally — mostly North Africans, Middle Easterners, and South Asians — and at the people he imagined were monitoring him. If the shooter was even aware of the incel movement, there’s no evidence of it in the manifesto itself.

Indeed, though one imagines the shooter was radicalized at least in part online, as every right-wing extremist seems to be these days, there’s little in his manifesto suggesting just where, online or off, he got any of his ideas. There are no references to other mass shooters, no mention of the “great replacement” theory or the alt-right vision of “white genocide”, no sly allusions to 4chan memes. And while he lists Israel as one of the countries whose people deserve to die en masse, his conspiracy theories make no mention of Jews at all. A brief video he made aimed at Americans referred to an underground network of satanic baby-abusers, but made no reference to Pizzagate or QAnon.

In short, he’s given those us trying to make sense of his motivations plenty to work with. But, while his genocidal racism is certainly clear and obvious, he remains in many ways a mystery — and will remain so unless and until we find more evidence of his beliefs.

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

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David Rose
David Rose
2 years ago

@Kupo

LOL. One of my many favorite momentS from that show!

rv97
2 years ago

@Jacob

All it benefits from is money. In the case of right wing outlets, also influencing people to go back at least one or two centuries.

Talonknife
Talonknife
2 years ago

@Redsilkphoenix

Nuclear weapons have actually only been used in war once, when the U.S. dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. There have been a lot of tests and posturing since then by the nuclear powers, but so far they’ve never been used as weapons again.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

These newspapers should really know better than to run with this stuff. This is one reason the media’s reputation has been in decline lately.

This thread has already exceeded its quota of wankers. Door’s that way.

Hambeast
Hambeast
2 years ago

For some reason, I get the feeling that srlo and much of his ilk are mad that the difference between sex and rape is consent because it makes consent into a type of magic somehow.

But they seem to think it’s bad magic because of its power and that it protects women (even though it protects everyone involved, regardless of gender or orientation).

The SRs have countered with even more powerful magic of their own, though! They declare that any type of sexual feeling is bad, that acting on it is rape, and that penis-having, cis-sexuals are grievously harmed by any of the aforementioned. By denying the world their essence, they have become magically powerful again* and more importantly, they’ve taken back their rightful power from the womz.

*POWERFUL, I tell you!!!11!

Nanny Oggs Bosom
Nanny Oggs Bosom
2 years ago

I did not know about this latest murder spree in Germany.

How utterly awful, those poor people. I have no compassion for the murderer but his innocent stranger victims and mother; what did any of them ever do to him?

I’m appalled that newspapers are deflecting from the right wing racist ideology by calling the murderer an incel. If he were also an incel, it’d be fair enough but nothing suggests he was. It seems more than a bit disingenuous on the part of The Sun.

Cats In Shiny Hats
Cats In Shiny Hats
2 years ago

@Lainy

I’m so sorry for everything you’re going through.

Paireon
Paireon
2 years ago

Wow, was gone for a bit and then this happens… Kinda wished I’d been there.

Thoughts and moral support @Lainy (sorry I can’t do more).

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
2 years ago

@Nagflar, Talonknife,

Thanks. That tallys with what I already knew about those things. I was just wondering why the troll would use something so easy to disprove in his rant against the West, rather than the things that were actually used there. Like, there’s conspiracy theories that have a grain of plausibly in them, and then there one like this that can only happen in a subpar political fantasy book.

At least in my opinion; ymmv.

ETA: forgot to add in assorted warm blankets, pillows, assorted comforting foods and drinks, and choice of cute critters for Lainy and anyone else upset by the troll of the thread.

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