One of the many paradoxes in the modern age is that there is an overabundance of knowledge and information available to the masses; yet, easy access to and dissemination of information has created a space for exaggerated views, simplistic analyses, and uninformed opinions to proliferate. As such, we have more knowledge available to us, yet many of us remain misinformed. With a plethora of uncritical and un-nuanced information bites easily available, a Muslim terrorist dialectic has emerged, reinforcing a narrative that Muslim men are dangerous, violent, and prone to acts of terrorism. It is not uncommon to come across this “dangerous Muslim man” archetype in Western public, political, and media discourses.
This most often occurs when radicalized Muslim individuals engage in random acts of violence, in which civilians are murdered and/or injured. When these acts of violence occur in the US, Canada, and Europe, there’s a concerted effort in the media to portray such random lone wolf acts of violence as being linked to some global Muslim terrorist infrastructure, and in doing so asserting that Islam is the root cause for these actions. However, deep and detailed analyses of the possible psychological, emotional, or social states of the perpetrators to help understand these actions, beyond terrorism inspired by Islam, is completely absent.