Australian women are being lured by the Islamic State using a “warped version of feminism” promising empowerment and liberation, a report claims.
According to a report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the Isis propaganda portrays women as empowered, but in reality they end up in a misogynistic world where they are forced to stay at home to cook, clean, and breed future Jihadi fighters.
The author of the report, counter-terrorism expert Sofia Patel, told the Advertiser that a surprising number of Western women — about 550 — have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join the Jihadi group.
“[Islamic State] … has portrayed women’s involvement in its mission under the guise of female empowerment and liberation,” the report claims.
“The roles and responsibilities it promises women on social media and via its propaganda are interlaced with notions of divine responsibility and duty, the promise of liberation and an idealized, utopian existence in the caliphate.
“However, (that is) vastly different from the reality of life in the caliphate … IS really sees women’s worth as predominantly to maintain the numbers of male mujahideen.”
The role of women in the Jihad is explained in the Isis magazine Dabiq: “My Muslim sister, indeed you are a mujahidah (fighter) and if the weapon of the men is the assault rifle and the explosive belt, then know that the weapon of the woman is good behavior and knowledge.”
Australian women who use feminist propaganda to attract women to the Islamic State include Zehra Duman, who joined the terrorist group and shows off the weapons she owns, and Zaynab Sharrouff, daughter of well-know Jihadist Khaled Sharrouff.
Both women use social media to romanticize the idea of “jihadi brides”.
The counter-terrorism expert suggests the need for “counter-narratives” to fight the Isis propaganda that offers women a shot at creating a utopia, joining a sisterhood, and seeking adventure and romance.