We are confounded how some women could move from being victims of family and societal oppression to becoming a tool in the hand of foreign organizations that quickly abandon them once they achieve what they have set out to do, which mainly revolves around attacking the women’s homelands, religions, and social behaviors.
Upon following up the activities of extremist religious, political, or human rights organizations, we note that they recruit women to exploit them in various matters to serve their agenda depending on the women’s abilities and psychological, familial, and professional readiness to do so.
Women are used in two ways. First, they are recruited as an element to attract and promote the ideology of their recruiters amongst their families, relatives, neighbors, and female co-workers. Second, they are assigned to communicate with foreign media and use social media platforms to promote the ideology they were recruited for, to incite against the state, and to defend the imprisoned female extremists and terrorists.
The question that comes to the minds of those who follow feminist movements in such context is: why is it easy to influence and control women?
It is undoubtful that women are the vessel that is most capable of transmitting ideas and communicating them to others. They are more susceptible to influence and being influenced. Moreover, an ideological woman is characterized by impulsiveness, sharpness, stubbornness, stentorian voice, enthusiasm, and fervent belief in the ideas that are instilled in her; thus, becoming quick to succumb to the owners of those ideas. Her ability to infiltrate certain spaces that men cannot enter is remarkable, becoming a spy for the organization she works for. Sayyid Qutb confirms this role in his saying, “It is her duty to monitor everything that goes on around her in society, which could constitute a threat to society and religion.”
As for women belonging to terrorist groups, certain reports indicate that some of them grew up in an environment where they were brainwashed, often seeking their goals under the threat of the men of the terrorist organization. Some married members of the organization, whether it is the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, or ISIS, with the encouragement of their fathers or brothers, who sympathize with or belong to this terrorist ideology. We have seen many similar marriages, and, in many cases, the woman herself becomes attached to the terrorist as she starts to believe in his ideology and the justice of his cause. She spares no effort to marry him, just like the Saudi female terrorist who married the terrorist Zarqawi in Iraq. Some women even sought to marry imprisoned terrorists.
Whether a woman engages in jihad willingly or against her will, some of them have surprised the world by taking a huge step and adopting a very backwards mentality. Many have heard of Umm al-Bara, Umm al-Qaqaa, and other women who have taken up arms and went to war, or launched campaigning to recruit other women in different countries. Tunisian researcher Amal Krami describes this behavior by saying, “Women’s involvement in terrorism is a complex phenomenon due to its overlapping psychological, ideological, and societal aspects, which result from gender particularity, especially in Arab and Islamic societies.”
The Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and, later on, ISIS took advantage of women and recruited them to engage in terrorist activities, such as raising funds, as these women are aware of people’s desire to do good. Money, gold, and jewelry would flow in, before they are quickly sent to terrorists through intermediaries. Some women affiliated with an organization would also be used to transfer written or verbal messages between the terrorist organization’s leaders. Even their family members, especially kids and the elderly, are used, unbeknownst to them the grave dangers these terrorist women are courting. They also provide shelters, supplies, and information for terrorists. Some women even formed a social incubator for the terrorists, like the woman who stored the head of the murdered US citizen in her fridge.
Extremist feminist organizations have also recruited certain women and encouraged them to break ties with their families and countries by riding the wave of women’s rights, which appears as a truth call but is a spurious in actuality. This is the definition of feminist terrorism according to Abdulaziz al-Mutawa, who states that “women have nothing to do with [this type of feminism], and women have nothing to do with determining its goals, mechanisms, and real or virtual victims. Rather, it is directed by international organizations and entities whose pivotal activities have nothing to do with women. However, they use women’s issues as mine sweepers led by this terrorism to reach their goals.”
It is worth pondering how women, who are the exemplars of mercy, ended up sacrificing themselves, their children, and their relatives under the umbrella of loyalty to the terrorists. How is it possible that our society has extremist women, who are led by foreign puppeteers and rush after ideas that claim to demand for women’s rights in a way that deviates from religion, ideals, and family values, not to mention the traditions and customs that uniquely frame women and protect them when they go insane and lose control of their actions?
Terrorist organizations were able to infiltrate Arab societies through schools, universities, and summer clubs by spreading the culture of seclusion and religious extremism. They were operating freely without any deterrence or control, as was the case in our country once upon a hellish time.
As for feminist organizations that claim to call for women’s rights, they have penetrated the social and familial structure of certain women through social media platforms, television channels, and personal mobile phones. The interesting part is that these organizations do not aim to advance women scientifically, morally, and productively; rather, they are keener to turn women into means they can use to attain their goals. They do not care about the sacrifices that women will have to make, such as disobeying their parents and sacrificing their homelands, dignities, and family lives.
Instead, these organizations choose to focus on abnormal, sick examples and use them to transform women into brutal monsters motivated to seek revenge from their homelands and families instead of finding ways to achieve coexistence that are more practical, valid, and natural for all human society. Those organizations were able to achieve their goals by deluding women that religious and societal controls, alongside behavioral and moral patterns, are just shackles and chains that hinder their mobility and destroy their humanity.
Finally, we are confounded how some women could move from being victims of family and societal oppression to becoming a tool in the hand of foreign organizations that quickly abandon them once they achieve what they have set out to do, which mainly revolves around attacking the women’s homelands, religions, and social behaviors. We have seen that some of them have ended up as beggars on the streets of the West, and some of them were pushed into disgraceful acts and forced to show off their behaviors on social media.
This article was originally published in, and translated from, Saudi Arabian outlet al-Riyadh.