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News: Western women are being recruited to join militant groups in Syria and Iraq.

Bird of Jannah 1
An image from the tumble of Bird of Jannah.

You have probably read the chilling news reports in recent months, about men from Australia, America and the United Kingdom travelling to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS militants.

But what you may not have read about, are the women recruits.

The self-proclaimed Islamic State – the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – has managed to recruit men from Western countries all around the world through social media and the web. These young men have been convinced to leave behind their families, and their homes, and their lives in the West for war and “honour”.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said there are believed to be up to 100 Australians fighting in Iraq and Syria at the moment. He said recently, “Some of them are involved with this murderous, murderous Al-Qaeda splinter group… Some of them are involved in atrocities.”

The women being recruited via social media into these groups, however, are not fighting on the ‘front line’.

Western men and women have been recruited to join ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Instead, they are being encouraged to join the ‘caliphate’ overseas as the wives of the ‘holy warriors’.

Jamie Dettmer investigated this trend recently for The Daily Beast, looking at the “tweets and blogs apparently are written by Western women married to jihadi warriors” for the purposes of propaganda, which can easily be viewed online.

Dettmer writes that the women who are married to members of ISIS – and are encouraging other Western women to travel overseas to do the same – think that their main “contribution to the Islamic revolution will be through matrimony, not martyrdom”.

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He quoted a number of sources, which paint an arranged marriage to one of these insurgents as an honour – and a decision that will result in domestic bliss:

One blogger called “Bird of Jannah” purrs: “Women are not equal to men. It can never be. Men are the leaders & women are [so] special that Allah has given them entire chapter in the Qur’an.”

… the marketing focuses on what one analyst calls the “private sphere,” concentrating on the joys of jihadist family life and the “honor” of raising new fighters for Islam. The online recruiters stress the pleasure of providing the domesticity that a warrior waging jihad needs and by doing so serving Islam…

“Allahu Akbar, there’s no way to describe the feeling of sitting with the Akhawat [sisters] waiting on news of whose Husband has attained Shahadah [martyrdom],” writes Umm Layth.

Twitter user Umm Layth, describes herself on social media as “British Muhajirah living under Dawlatul Islamiyyah.”

The Daily Beast report that analysts from the US SITE Intelligence Group argue, “By creating content specifically targeting female jihadi supporters, the Islamic State is able to establish a pipeline to assist Western women in traveling to Syria to marry jihadi fighters and contribute to the formation of their new society.”

Western women have been using social media platforms like Twitter and ask.fm to interact with the blogger wives of the jihadist militants, asking questions like how to make it to Syria and Iraq; or how to deal with leaving behind family and loved ones.

This year, the aforementioned Umm Layth distributed a manual to her Twitter followers called “Diary of a Muhajirah [migrant]”, which provided step-by-step instructions for hopeful brides intending to away from home to join ISIS.

What is rarely mentioned are some of the more extreme rules that come with being a women married to an insurgent – or indeed, living in an area where the al-Qaida offshoot has control.

The Guardian reported that last month ISIS “has warned women in the city of Mosul to wear full-face veils or risk severe punishment”.

The Sunni insurgents listsed guidelines on how women should wear veils and clothes, saying:

“The conditions imposed on her clothes and grooming was only to end the pretext of debauchery resulting from grooming and overdressing… This is not a restriction on her freedom but to prevent her from falling into humiliation and vulgarity or to be a theatre for the eyes of those who are looking.”

According to The Guardian, ISIS “has warned women in the city of Mosul to wear full-face veils or risk severe punishment”.

You have to whether the Western women being recruited to this cause know about such strict regulations regarding dress code – or even more serious punishments, such as being stoned for adultery.

Organisations like these target vulnerable, lonely and sometimes mentally-unwell individuals – and the stories of these victims brainwashing are all the more tragic, when one considers the outcome.

Female recruits are likely to be trapped into a life of restrictions and servitude; while male recruits will be putting their lives on the line.

And in both cases, lives will effectively be lost.

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