Today
Wed 22 September 2021

For many in the ‘incel’ and other far-right communities, the suppression of women’s rights in Afghanistan is a cause for celebration

While the world watched in horror as the Taliban took Kabul on 15 August 2021, having taken city after city across Afghanistan, one group was cheering it on: the ‘incel’ community. 

A misogynistic online sub-culture, the term incel is short for “involuntary celibate”. Men and boys within the community – and it is believed that there are more than 10,000 in the UK – feel that they have been sexually rejected by women. There is a strong crossover between incel thought and white supremacy. 

“Talichads just took over Afghanistan, no more feminism or Globohomo!” one member – with a Hitler gif for his avatar – typed. Other individuals in the community joined in the thread to express support for the miltiant Islamist group that had previously banned girls attending schools, banned women from working, and generally denied women access to their human rights.

The term “Talichad” is a mash-up of Taliban and “Chad” – an incel slang word for alpha male. 

“I love how the West is p****d about the victory of the Taliban,” one incel replied. “Muh women’s rights, muh education for girls – REEEEE!”

Incels start a thread praising the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

Another complained that there was little focus on the dangers posed to men in conflicts, saying that, as a result, he was “kinda happy the Taliban is taking over”. This was followed by someone who celebrated the reports that Taliban fighters were forcing girls as young as 15 into marriage, sharing a video and captioning it as “Taliban incels celebrating their victory, knowing that they will be added to the list to receive a wife”.

This fits into a pattern in incel culture whereby men fantasise about having access to “jailbait” – a term for underage girls they want to have sex with and marry.

But it wasn’t just incels who were excited by the return of the Taliban. Far-right groups across the world also greeted positively the news of the takeover, taking inspiration and tactics from the fighters’ success.


Aspiration

Even before the Taliban’s victory over Government forces in Afghanistan, some individuals on incel forums saw the regime as a source of inspiration. 

Last year, one incel repeatedly referenced Afghanistan and the Taliban in his posts, saying: “I look at Afghanistan and their handling of foids for aspiration.” Foids is short for “femoids” – a dehumanising term incels use to refer to women. 

Before the Taliban’s advance, at least one incel turned to the group for inspiration

The same user posted an image of a man flogging a woman in a burkha, captioning it as “in Afghanistan? This is the norm”. He claimed that in the West, men who approached women would get “Me Too’d” – meaning that they would be accused of sexual assault. He continued by stating this would not happen under the Taliban, suggesting that, if a woman didn’t satisfy a man, he could call the “religious police and they would discipline your wife appropriately”. 

He also praised the Taliban for “putting foids back in their place”. 


Strategic Takeover

In the same post, the incel forum member posited a plan of how to follow in the Taliban’s footsteps, starting with “taking a village” and then “building up our own rules”. 

Of course, this is the rantings of a man who hates women – but he isn’t alone on the far-right in looking to the Taliban’s swift advance across Afghanistan and seeing a blueprint for a similar assault on democratic norms. 

Posting on Gab – a social network popular with the far-right – its co-founder and chief executive officer Andrew Torba said: “If a bunch of dudes who hid in caves for 20 years can take their country back from the Globalist American Empire then there’s no reason we can’t too. All we have to do is exit their system and build our own.”

Torba went on to describe the Taliban’s anti-women, anti-LGBTIQ policies as “based” and shared posts in which men joked that the Taliban was having the “#BestWhiteBoySummer” for banning homosexuality. Another post that was shared mocked news of women being forced from their jobs. 

Andrew Torba praises the Taliban’s anti-abortion, anti-LGBTIQ policies as “based”

Buzzfeed reported last month how the founder of neo-Nazi domestic terror group, the Base, and a former contractor for the Department of Homeland Security in Afghanistan posted a video on BitChute that told US extremists: “We need to think bigger… try or organise on a regional level” like the Taliban has done.

A Proud Boys-affiliated Telegram channel posted an Islamophobic slur before praising “these farmers and minimally trained men” who “fought to take their nation back… They took back their Government from globalhomo, installed their national religion as law, and executed dissenters. Hard to not respect that”. 

Far-right video creator Vincent James posted on his Telegram account that “to be honest, the Taliban is epic”.

“A bunch of kids cut off from the world, way more radicalised than their parents were, grew up and just completely dominated an entire country on multiple occasions, using guerrilla warfare against the US backed mujahideen and other militias,” he said.

He added that he celebrated “every time the gay America regime is embarrassed”. Sharing a picture of women’s faces on billboards being painted over in Kabul, he simply wrote “LMAO” (‘laughing my ass off’). 

On Gab, the alt-right video maker Nicholas J. Fuentes wrote: “The Taliban is going to ban abortion, vaccines, and gay marriage… maybe we were fighting on the wrong side for 20 years,” In response, one Gab member states: “The Taliban isn’t perfect, but Nick reveres them to show how our society has fallen.”

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