Jihadists in pink; the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood

Jihadists in pink; the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood

Women are a fundamental element to stop jihadist extremism

By Souad Sbai

“The women of ISIS” are again in the limelight due to Lara Bombonati’s trial, a girl accused of terrorism. In fact, the hellish mechanism of the Islamist extremism could be defeated through the women of ISIS. Women are becoming increasingly useful for the jihadist cause, as recruiters or as armed terrorists ready to carry out suicide attacks in the old continent. An involvement that calls into question the Muslim Brotherhood, the source on which the contemporary Islamist radicalism is based.

On September 18 took place in Turin the trial of the young jihadist Lara Bombonati, accused of belonging to a terrorist organization. A trial that put the “women of ISIS”, the feminine face of 21st century extremism, in the limelight.

Wrapped in an ambiguous veil, reminiscent of the Christian tradition, Lara’s transformation into “Khadija” – the Prophet’s first wife and “Mother of the Believers” – was favored by two recurring elements in cases of female radicalization: the role of her boyfriend and later husband, a 20-year-old man, also Italian, converted to Islam and the cybernetic dimension of jihad, a tireless source of indoctrination and recruitment, especially among younger generations.

Her repeated trips to Syria were a wake-up call for the investigators. As the incercepted telephone conversations reveal, Lara-Khadija traveled to Syria to visit her husband – a jihadist fighter – and to transfer documentation from one terrorist group to another. The investigators discovered the online command and control structure to which Lara-Khadija was connected, and that obeyed the orders given by the extremists linked to the jihadist groups active in Syrian territory.

Lara-Khadija’s story is not an isolated case. According to a new report by ISPI, 125 Italian “foreign fighters” traveled to Syria, 12 of them are women; a small number only apparently, bearing in mind that the spread of Islamist extremism in Italy is more recent than in other European countries. The report also reveals that, among people converted to Islam, women make up more than 42%; a percentage that, without the immediate adoption of new adequate measures to combat female radicalization, is destined to turn into an increase of “foreign fighters”.

In fact, the “women of ISIS” in Italy and in the rest of Europe are increasingly useful for the jihadist cause, as online recruiters or carrying out minor actions in the theaters of jihad but also as armed terrorists ready to carry out suicide attacks in the old continent.

Female jihadism demonstrated its potentiality in Raqqa, the capital of the so-called Islamic State in Syria. An example of the female power is the Al Khansa Brigade: the female religious police responsible for overseeing women’s behavior and customs, made up of hundreds of non-Syrian women, mostly British, but also from the United States, the Netherlands and the Caucasus, all of young age. This data shows how the radicalization process can generate an ideological and psychological manipulation able to turn women into torturers of other women; women who show total indifference to the terrible violence that ISIS terrorists reserve for the female population. Rape, slavery, forced marriages from the age of 9 and all kinds of abuses are a part of daily life in the Islamic State; extreme manifestations of an archaic mentality and a trivial subculture that deprives women of the dignity of being treated as human beings.

With the loss of territory in Syria and Iraq, the ability of ISIS to harass women has been reduced; but its ability to recruit women through online recruitment and proselytizing activities led by women previously radicalized, continues to grow. Recent efforts to encourage the female jihadist component to carry out terrorist attacks were documented in France and Britain (see the cases of Rachid Kassim and the “black widow” Sally Jones).

Prevention is essential to eradicate terrorism and for this reason, the “women of ISIS” in national and European territory requires specific intervention policies that complement the traditional measures adopted by the security forces and by the investigators.

Informative campaigns – such as those organized by the “Centro Studi Averroè” and ACMID (Moroccan Women’s Association in Italy) – are necessary to unmask the deception hidden in the jihadist propaganda.

It is necessary to spread the truth: the ideal State promised by ISIS is nothing but a negative utopia that manipulates the sacred scriptures of the Islamic religion and that wants women to subdue and brutalize them.

The persuasion techniques used by extremism to attract Muslim women – both by birth and by conversion -into their trap, must become ineffective. If the Internet is the main tool used by jihadism to conquer women’s minds and hearts, the creation of online organizations dedicated to analyzing and controlling the feminine component would reduce the attraction between Islamism and many western girls such as Lara, emptying the recruitment area.

However, to get a truly effective strategy to prevent and contrast the jihadist phenomenon also in its feminine version, it is necessary to clearly identify the promoters of this ideology and of the extremist mentality of ISIS, Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

Historical evidence shows that the Muslim Brotherhood promotes jihadism. The Muslim Brotherhood is the source on which Islamist radicalism is based, in all its forms and manifestations. This source would not have the capacity to pull the strings of international jihadism that it currently has if it were not fueled by the rogue States that aim to expand their influence in the East and in the West: that is, Qatari regime at the service of the unbridled hunger for power of the clan Al Thani and the Sultan Erdogan’s Islamized Turkey.

In the fight against terrorism, this is the front that is proving more difficult to resolve since a significant part of the international community does not cease to be complacent – and sometimes submissive – with the Muslim Brotherhood alliance that has Europe on tenterhooks, in the economic and also in the security field.

Therefore, the role of women in the fight against terrorism acquires even greater value: women can put an end to extremism and Islamist terrorism.


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