Some female devotees of ‘sexual jihad’ who have travelled to the Near East to marry terrorists are being used by organisations like the Islamic State to humiliate British Muslims into taking up arms by questioning their masculinity for staying at home.
The revelation comes after research by counter-extremism think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, who monitor jihadist social media use by British jihadists. One such user, ‘Bird of Jannah’ runs a tumblr-blog called ‘Diary of a Traveller’ featuring inspirational quotes superimposed over soft-filtered photographs, in an instantly recognisable style used by thousands of young women in the Western world.
The key differences to the blogs of the normal majority are the topics and images she chooses; posts on bearing the children of Mujahideen (jihadist fighters), quotes from the Koran, criticism of Western media, and John Cantlie videos.
One image macro even combines red roses, an AK-47 assault rifle, and a declaration of love for a jihadist:
The Times reports the remarks of a senior researcher at Quilliam, Erin Marie Saltman, who said of the new recruitment tactics: “Young British females married to jihadists in Syria are using social media to shame other men… and accuse them of not being ‘real men’ or ‘real Muslims’ if they do not travel to Syria to fight”.
“It is similar to the First World War, where men were branded cowards if they did not enlist. Jihadist wives are using language to degrade the machismo of British men. They use physical comparisons to shame the ‘fat and lazy British Muslims’ into joining the ‘physically fit and strong mujahidin’ in Syria and Iraq”.
This is not the only role women have found themselves in the self declared Caliphate of the Islamic State. The Quilliam report notes the establishment of a number of women-only brigades, who are employed in “assisting in upholding morality dress-codes among women as well as exposing men who might be disguised as women in order to cross IS checkpoints”.
Breitbart London reported on this phenomenon last month. One defector from ISIS told media about her time as a member of ISIS’s women police: “We’d patrol the streets. If we saw a woman who was not wearing the correct sharia clothing, we would grab her. Sometimes, they would be lashed”.
Her office also arranged marriages for young women to fighters. She said: “The foreign fighters are very brutal with women, even the ones they marry. There were cases where the wife had to be taken to the emergency ward because of the sexual violence”.
Last month one high-profile British female jihadist made headlines after she declared her desire to become the first woman executioner in the caliphate. Khadijah Dare, from Lewisham in London became a high-profile target by the British intelligence services because of her immense soft-power as a recruiting tool for ISIS.
At the time, an intelligence source said: “Her notoriety has evolved so rapidly that she has achieved a celebrity-like status among jihadists… The threat from homegrown would-be terrorists such as her is very great. Dare has now become a top priority”.