More and more “German” women are being recruited for the jihad in Syria. They travel to the battle front, encourage the mujahideen fighting the Assad regime, and sometimes marry a holy warrior. After that comes… pregnancy? Maybe a return home, accompanied by hubby and Mujahid Jr.?
The following article describing the latest trend among Islamic zealots in Germany was translated by JLH. The translator includes this note:
How similar is this “jihadist emancipation” to the combining of patriotic fervor and the sense of being liberated from the typical “role of the woman” in the “Rosie the Riveter” phenomenon during WWII? Islamic feminism — scary thought.
The translated article from Die Welt:
German Girls’ Dream of “Jihad Marriage”
Out of high school and into jihad! The number of girls traveling from Germany to Syria to marry Islamists is rising. That is what a 16 year-old from Baden-Württemberg did.
by Florian Fade
Sonya (name changed) disappeared during Autumn vacation in Baden-Württemberg. The 16-year-old high school student, daughter of an Algerian father and German mother, left her parental home in Konstanz on Lake Constance and never returned.
Sonya’s parents alerted the police. They feared the worst. Had their daughter been kidnapped? Could she have been the victim of some crime? Neither. She had left Konstanz to realize her dream: to be the wife of an Islamist warrior of God.
The young Muslim had packed her bag and traveled to Stuttgart. At the airport, she presented a forged authorization from her parents which purported to allow the minor to travel alone. Then she boarded an airplane that took her to Turkey. From there her path was presumably to Syria.
The Dream: to be the Widow of a Martyr
Out of high school and into jihad against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The teenager was in contact by Facebook with German Islamists in Syria. Their propaganda apparently radicalized her to such an extent that she decided to emigrate to the war zone. Leaving behind baffled parents who are in fear for their daughter’s life.
The case of the 16-year-old from Konstanz confirms a trend now being observed by security authorities. More and more frequently, Muslim women and girls are traveling from Germany to Syria, gripped by the desire to go to the “holy war,” to marry a jihadist and to become the widow of a martyr.
To the knowledge of security authorities, so far about 300 Islamist have gone to Syria. Among them are at least 20 women who have gone to the civil war out of “their own jihadist motivation.”
Women are Becoming Increasingly Important for Fanatics
At first glance, this may be surprising. Jihad, after all, is a masculine domain. But as Islamism experts and security authorities confirm, this has for some time not been the case. Inside the radical Islamic scene, women are taking on increasingly important tasks, especially in the areas of propaganda, collection of donations, logistics and networking. Not infrequently when doing this, they are oriented to feminine models of pre-Islamic times.
Thus, for example, Aisha, the youngest wife of the Prophet Mohammed is said to have accompanied the warriors into battle on a camel in 656 A.D in present-day Iraq. According to legend, Aisha sat on her camel’s back, drumming the warriors to battle. Today, many female Islamists regard this as a worthy example of the war-like “mujahida” (female warrior of God).
“Islamic women see themselves in the role of the supporter,” explains a security agent. “They support the men’s battle morally and with propaganda. They often egg them on and even have a radicalizing influence. They are sort of the cheerleaders of jihad.”
How actively female Islamists participate within the scene becomes clear on the internet. In the anonymity of the forums, blogs and social networks, there is a kind of “jihadist emancipation” says the analysis of security authorities. Here, female Islamists often discuss, comment and act on an equal footing with men. ‘We have observed that women to some extent have profound theological knowledge,” confirms an agent. “They often know more Koran passages and more sayings of the Prophet than most men. They know exactly what is allowed and what is forbidden.”
“Most Men are not Real Men”
In the meantime, German-language woman-only groups have been established in diverse, Islamist internet forums. The subjects of emigration and jihad are discussed intensively there. And the role of female Muslims. “Most men today are not really men anymore. They practice jihad by leaning back in their overstuffed leather sofa in front of the TV,” it says on such a Facebook page. “So it is happening that women are becoming more manly, by wanting to take over the obligations of their husbands.”
Those men who found their way to the battlefield and died there are styled by the female jihadists as heroes. “He was a lion of this ummah!” wrote one commenter under the photo of a terrorist killed in Syria. “Where are the lions who will follow him? Where are the true men?”
Ever more often, it does not stop with encouragement and moral support at a distance. German mujahids — alone or by their husbands’ sides — are making the trip to the war zone. In hopes of a life in a Muslim land, according to the rules of the Koran, as the wife of a warrior of God. “According to conservative Muslim perception, a woman actually may not travel without a husband or male relative,” explains an official of state security. “But there are scholars whose legal opinion is: If it is jihad, women may also travel alone.”
Kitschy Jihad Romanticism in a Blog Format
And they do. Like Sonya from Konstanz. And about 20 other Islamistettes from the Federal Republic. One of them published regular diary entries from Syria on her own blog this past year.
She philosophized about the alleged oppression of Muslims in Europe and about the terror strikes of September 11, 2001. “Now I am here. On the ground of jihad, on the ground of honor, in Syria,” wrote the anonymous author. “I am the wife of a mujahid.”
The feeling of being in Syria, she said, was indescribable. “Finally I can be free to wear my niqab as I wish without hearing and seeing mockery,” it says on the blog. “If I wish, I wear two or three more niqabs. No one can do anything to me here.” Kitschy jihad romanticism, aimed at the sisters in faith who have remained at home. The prospect of an ideal Muslim life under the rule of sharia is appealing to many female Islamists.
Fanatic Family Reunions Loom
Security calls the resulting relationships “jihad marriages.” “We even see marriages concluded by Facebook,” says an analyst of the domestic intelligence service. A phenomenon that causes security authorities concern. There may be a particular strategy by Islamist terrorist groups behind it. A woman with a German passport marries a jihadist who has had no connection to Germany. “Then the woman returns home, possibly pregnant. Sometime later, there will be a family reunion,” warns a member of security, “and the husband — a battle-hardened jihadist — is allowed to immigrate to Germany.”
To prevent such scenarios, police are relying on direct contact. If there are indications of a pending trip to Syria, the person is contacted and informed that the authorities have their eye on her and her movements abroad will be monitored. And it is spelled out that support of a terrorist organization in Syria or Germany is a crime.
In many instances, the tactic succeeds. But the Islamist scene works unremittingly to recruit for Syria. Important to this are the charity organizations through which donations for Syria are collected. Security suspects that many of the allegedly humanitarian actions actually serve to support Syrian revolutionary groups. This coming Sunday, such an event will again take place in a Berlin mosque — “Only For Women.”
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