Increase in Andrew Tate-related cases referred to Prevent

According to the Guardian, there has been a rapid increase in the number of cases being referred to Prevent by schools worried about the influence of Andrew Tate.

Reports include incidents of verbal harassment of female teachers or pupils and outbursts which reflect the views of the self-styled misogynist.

Prevent practitioners who spoke to the Guardian said Tate-related cases dated into last year and that they were trying to help teachers to understand words that they were hearing but that they did not understand.

One practitioner said: “From September he’s just accelerated from nowhere to become a primary issue for schools that I have been dealing with. He obviously doesn’t fit within the Prevent sphere but incels do. He is parallel to them and has a crossover. When I’m in schools I find myself describing him, effectively, as toxic misogyny on steroids.

“It may have been the delayed effect off the back of young people talking more about him after he lost access to some of his social media platforms, but we started to see a rise before Christmas, in terms of schools telling us about pupils really challenging staff, such as cases where pupils have said to female teacher: ‘What do you know, you’re a woman, you can’t teach me anything. Your place is in the kitchen.’”

Tate has also claimed to have converted to Islam, with one Prevent worker pointing out examples of pro-Islamic State platforms sharing Tate content: "So we’re in a position where we now have to acknowledge he has those connections to those extremists spaces, but when a school comes to us for help, he is not necessarily our remit."

Another added: “Tate’s conversion might be a stunt, but what it has done is feed into that kind of unclear and very messy ideological aspect that is now affecting a larger cohort of pupils in schools. Not only do you now have, for example, white kids who were drawn to him before but now you now have young English Muslims too."

William Shawcross's recent review of Prevent concluded that the "Incel" culture was not a counter-terrorism matter. This is despite cases in the UK such as the terrorism conviction of Gabrielle Friel who "expressed affinity with and sympathy for one incel-motivated mass murderer" and the mass shooting in Plymouth, which was carried out by a man involved in incel ideology. Across the word incel ideology has also been a factor in killings in Isla Vista, California, in 2014; in Toronto in 2018 and 2020; and in Tallahassee in 2018.

Dr Tim Squirrell of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) told the Guardian: "Tate clearly represents a risk of radicalising young men into misogynist extremism. This kind of extremism is not currently considered for support under Prevent unless it is accompanied with a recognised ideology, eg incel/extreme rightwing/Islamist. That’s a problem."

Squirrell added: “Incel ideology isn’t the only misogynist ideology, or even the one that causes the most damage in absolute terms, but claiming that it is not and shouldn’t be considered a terrorist threat is misguided.”

“It also cannot be dealt with under hate crime because – and you would hope that Shawcross would know this – misogyny isn’t included in hate crime legislation.”

In December, Tate was arrested in Romania on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group to exploit women. He denies wrongdoing.

Image: Anything Goes With James English, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


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