It seems that running and maintaining a Caliphate calls for the support only women can provide. Â The men may be fighting the war and not allowing women to heft a gun in battle, but ISIS, as it gobbles up territory, is trying to establish a culture, and for that, they need females:
ISISâ€™s takeover of territory in Syria and Iraq last year was a male driven act, with females expressly forbidden from the qitaal (fighting). However, the desire to form a caliphate comes with practicalities, notably the need for â€˜supportâ€™ functions, such as increasing the population and establishing communities and home lives that can keep particularly foreign fighters engaged in the region. This reality has led to a considerable recruitment push aimed at women and girls in the past months. Despite some similarities, the method is heavily centred around technology and different from the strategies aimed at Western men.
An urgent need for state functions set in around September 2014 due to the expansion and subsequent community building needed. Western women and girls are promised â€˜devout, jihadist husbands, a home in a true Islamic state and the opportunity to devote their lives to their religion and their god.â€™ This lure, coupled with the desire to become a â€˜founding motherâ€™ to a new nation, has helped establish a narrative of duty. It is well documented that any large army of men, which we must recognise that ISIS has become, requires morale building and continuous incentives. Women play a critical role in this and have done for centuries. The community building skills that women bring, alongside the obvious reproductive capabilities, provide a sense of belonging and responsibility to fighters without which they could be tempted to return to their home nations where their families and friends still reside.
So, what does ISIS do to attract women in order to create all the comforts of home to encourage the fighters: turn to social media and bait hooks. Â The promises are along the lines of living in a place with ideological and theological purity, of living in community for the glory of God. Â It is a romance concept that is entirely too human, and is pressed during the growing years that are known for idealistic phases, and establishing final moralistic thought processes. Â The propaganda play is on the “disillusionment” of living in Islamic communities that are not pure. Â The very social nature of American based communications platforms (facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) allows a sense of community to be built between the women who are already in the “pure” environment and those who wish to be a part of it.
According to the Human Security Centre report quoted above, roughly 10% of foreign and western recruits to ISIS are women largely in their late teens to mid twenties. Â (Naturally, the most fertile years of a woman’s life.) Â Those who express a desire to join the Caliphate, but do not have the means to do so, are pretty much guilted into initiating attacks where they are.
This represents an addition in ISIS recruitment strategy. Â As the leadership is interested in building a state, not simply a movement, they are augmenting recruitment. Â ISIS is no longer a men’s only club.
H/T – Washington Free Beacon