State Department Officials Blame Kenyan Terrorism On The “Patriarchy”, Not Islamic Extremism

State Department to Spend $592,500 on Studying Masculinity in Kenya, Blames Terrorism the “Patriarchy”

The US State Department announced that it will fund a nearly $600,000 study to explore whether “ideals of masculinity” in Kenya contribute to terrorism.

The money will be awarded by the Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism to the nonprofit group that can best “explore gender identities of boys and men in Kenya.”  Specifically, the study will “determine existing knowledge and gaps on male gender and violent extremism as well as explore gender identities of boys and men in Kenya.”


The idea is that masculine traits such as being “tough, heterosexual, aggressive, unemotional, and achieving” make men vulnerable to Islamic terrorist recruiters.  By understanding the traditional norms of masculinity, the State Department believes it can make Kenyan men less likely to join al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda, or ISIS.

The State Department justified their project, arguing:

Gender is increasingly recognized as an essential aspect to understanding and countering violent extremism throughout the world. . .

To date, research and interventions on gender in Kenya have predominantly focused on the role of women and girls in violent extremism. However, men and boys are disproportionately recruited by and join terrorist groups and carry out terrorist operations. In Kenya, there currently exists no CVE [countering violent extremism] programming dedicated to the role of gender of boys and men and vulnerability to violent extremism.

The fact that men and boys are more likely to join terrorist networks is entirely unsurprising, and shouldn’t warrant a government study.  But getting to the truth doesn’t seem to be what this study is about.

Consider the language of the grant proposal: the proposal blames Kenya’s “patriarchal” society of “tough, heterosexual” men for its terrorism problem.  It says that Kenya is:

. . .uniformly patriarchal and highly prescriptive of gender expressions and identities. . . Kenyan males are expected to head the household as well as provide for, protect, and maintain the family. . .

Socially, males are expected to be tough, heterosexual, aggressive, unemotional, and achieving. The practical and social pressures to fulfill these expectations can be immense and create vulnerabilities that are exploited by violent extremist groups who appeal to these characteristics and offer the opportunity to fulfil [sic] these roles.

The proposal shifts the blame for terrorism from Islamic extremists to men in general: men are easily duped by terrorists, and only join so that they can fulfill their obligations to the “patriarchy”—forget about Jihad, and the desire to fight for Allah.

Evidently, terrorism has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with toxic masculinity. Madness.

Enough treasure has been spent on researching and fighting terrorism—we already know what drives them, even if we don’t want to admit it.

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About John Whitaker 36 Articles
Journalist, small cap trader, classical conservative.