BBC “Today Programme” ignores the cult-like nature of ISIS recruitment of young women in the UK

6 Responses

  1. Jon MC says:

    Dear Babs,
    thank you for your responses which were interesting.
    With regard to denial I think that there is another strand operating here and that is aspects of honour/shame. One reason for denial would be the intent to transfer blame for radicalisation away from the family if it is perceived as “shaming” to the family or community (we can also see this shaming in terms of “harm” to the public perception of Muslims/Islam).
    You may recall the several recent cases where parents/friends of “Jihadi John” and one of the three Jihadi brides blamed the Police (J.John), teachers, society etc. for their radicalisation or not spotting the same (“J.Bride”); in the latter case hard evidence later emerged of said father at al-Mujhiroon meetings accompanied by his now absconded daughter, so daddy was actively radicalising her yet blaming just about everybody else when she made her “radicalisation” public by decamping to Syria.

    With respect to alienation: although I entirely agree with your point about women, I was making a broader one.
    To extend it somewhat. Many people see alienation as a cause of “radicalisation”, in my opinion this muddles cause and effect.
    I alluded to the fact that the “radicalised” are invariably described as being nice, kind, friendly, etc. – i.e. well integrated young folk right up to a short time before they left for Syria; just occasionally someone notes that “s/he became much more religious recently” or similar.
    Having studied the Koran and Sunnah I know that Islam teaches alienation, Muslims are taught that they should not befriend non-Muslims (though they can be friendly, especially if that enhances their own security) and that their only “true” friends must be other Muslims.
    Thus Islam drives alienation from the host culture of non-Muslim countries and “radicalisation” only drives it further and faster – from disdain to hatred and violence.
    Thus “radicalisation” – i.e. deepening Islam faith – generates alienation, not the other way around.

    Folk Islam vs. real Islam.
    I do not doubt that you are correct about cognitive dissonance between the folk Islam young Muslims received from their parents and what the Koran itself teaches, but Islamic teaching specifically repudiates the sort of syncretism that would be needed to reach such a synthesis between forms of “folk Islam” and what we might term “real Islam”.
    Neither do I doubt your point on ISIS et al targeting those at a vulnerable stage, though I would say that since ISIS can’t know who these “vulnerable” young people are unless they “pop up” through social media, then I think that the young person’s direction of travel may well be set before such “outreach” by ISIS etc.
    In essence they contact ISIS, not the other way around.
    I also think that there is another mechanism active here, unrelated to ISIS, al-Qeada etc.
    It is simply that as the young person comes to understand what islam teaches and contrasts it to what their parents practice, they wish to follow a “purer” form of Islam. That too will point them towards Salafist and Wahabist Imams.
    Where I do think ISIS et al is greatly involved is in accelerating radicalisation to the point that it becomes actively violent.
    Prof. Haykel has pointed out that many Salafists (who are “radicals”) are in practice non-violent. He calls them “quietist salafists”.
    Many Muslims can be “radicalised” to the extent of seeking to practice a “pure” Islam without becoming violent – Islam’s doctrines of Tayseer and Darura come into play here.
    But for me the real significance is that it is the younger generations, who have access to the Islamic canon that are more “radical” and violent than the peaceable older generations who generally did not. This is strongly suggestive (at least) that the “peaceful” forms of Islam are far less tied to the canon (or perhaps more selectively tied) than the more “radical” manifestations.

  2. Babs says:

    Hello, Jon MC – good to hear from you and I am glad that you enter the discussion.

    To respond to your points in the order you wrote them:

    1. As regards the parents being in denial when they insist that they have no clue that their daughters are becoming radicalised,I believe you are correct. We know that in Islam women are mere objects to be dealt with or to according to the wishes of powerful men – imams,fathers, husbands, brothers, even sons. It follows therefore, to me, that since objects are rarely perceived in the way that most intelligent people perceive their fellow humans, the radicalisation may well be ignored (denied), or, where it isn’t, it may be employed as a “protection” against dishonour, or even to big up the status of the head of the family in the eyes of his community, or, worst of all, to punish a daughter for having betrayed the family’s honour.

    2. Again, I agree with you. These women, never having been perceived as fully human in the sense that I mean it, are indeed alienated from the wider human race and this is thrown into sharp relief for them when Islam meets the permissiveness of wider society.

    Your information about “folk Islam” is thought-provoking. It seems to me that the recipients of “folk Islam” choose to follow ISIS and the like because they cannot achieve the consonnance necessary for being able to synthesise the Islamic cannon and the folk Islam. ISIS and other Islamist terror organisations may deliberately target those in the throes of such cognitive dissonance and deliberately exacerbate it, and then provide ISIS extremism as the panacea

  3. Walter Sieruk says:

    Three things should be made known. The first is to reiterate, in a more specific way concerning the topics of women , ISIS, Islam and polygamy As stated before Jesus taught “For this cause a men shall leave his father and mother ,and shall cleave to his wife…” Matthew 19:5.{K.J.V.] The whole point in this reiteration of the Wise instruction of Jesus is that Jesus had said “Wife.” Not “wives.”Therefore the ISIS militants and as we other Muslims should heed the teaching of Jesus, Since they do claim to respect Him and do accept Him as a prophet,they should then stop practicing polygamy. Still, they will not change in the wicked ways. Second , the villains who compose ISIS will use and exploit as well as use them as tools in their mad Islamic quest. Nevertheless the fiendish men of ISIS do view all females, both, girls and women, with little no worth or value. As Brigitte Gabriel, who is the founder and head of actforamerica.org , had explained in her book THEY MUST BE STOPPED informs her readers by letting them know that “Women in Islam are considered unclean ,deemed inferior even to dirt.” Third, with the ISIS savages having total control of all those women,the time will then come ,for some of them, the brutally cruel, vicious ,malicious and murderous violence of receiving the malice-filled evil of an Islamic “honor killing.” As also explain in the same book just mentioned. Which reads Honor killings are executed by slitting the victims throat , hatching them, stabbing , burning them to death, decapitation, bullets to the head and chest, or by any other means imaginable.” As for ISIS and women. It may truthfully said that callous and ruthless ways the ISIS jihadists treat girls and women ,very much, reflects the hideous misogyny the is so,very much, part of the essence of Islam.

  4. Jon MC says:

    Excellent article Babs. I’d like to add two points.
    1. I watched (now many years ago) a Muslim adult transition from being a “cultural” Muslim to an al-Qaeda supporter. I must admit that I was unable to stop this happening.
    But my point is this: the signs were OBVIOUS. That is why I frankly do not believe the “By Allah we had no idea s/he was becoming radicalised!” or the “good young people, non-violent, etc etc.” responses. IMO this is simply denial of what they saw going on.
    That said, one can envision families so disfunctional that such blatant evidence (as I saw) was ignored, but whilst I share your opinion on Islamic parenting, I think this is mostly unlikely – particularly for young girls who are generally watched much more closely.

    2. Neither am I convinced about “alienation” be it from Western or “Islamic” society.
    A point to keep in mind is that it is only relatively recently that the Islamic Canon has been widely translated from Arabic and made available to Muslims in their native tongues.
    It’s also worth pointing out that illiteracy, even in the mother tongue, is quite high in many Muslim majority Countries – unlike in the West.
    It follows that it is those more recent generations that have had direct access to the Islamic canon without the mediation of the local Imam and who thus discover for themselves the violence inherent in Islam along with the rigid and dogmatic nature of Islam.
    Putting this another way: I think that many older Muslims actually practice what I call “folk Islam”. It is an Islam based not on the written canon but on the basis of “what everybody knows”. This folk Islam is mutable and influenced by all sorts of external factors not found within Islam itself.
    Thus when the later generation of young Muslims read the Islamic canon they may well become “alienated” from the Islam of their parents which they see as riddled with “Bid’r” (Innovation) at best and Kufr at worst.
    As a response to this, a very black-and-white version a la ISIS, al-Qaeda etc. etc. will seem attractive since it is closely based on the canon.

  5. Walter Sieruk says:

    Many of the girls and women who will become captives of ISIS will also become entrapped in “marriages” of polygamy. On the subject of polygamy it should be stated that God gave Adam one wife. Further,in the New Testament Jesus taught “For this cause shall and man leave father and mother ,and shall cleave to his wife…” Matthew 19:5. [K.J.V.] Nevertheless there are some people who will act as apologists for polygamy by saying that king David and then king Solomon did practice it. Nevertheless, such people aren’t taking into account that the only reason that God did tolerate this tradition was not because it was right or that He approved of it. It was tolerated because it was such an entrenched custom in the ancient Middle East at that time that God allowed it for the above mentioned kings of Israel. This did not mean that polygamy was a good thing and was meant to keep on going in other times and places. Still the callous men of ISIS will still use and exploit those young females as tools for their own Islamic agenda.

  6. Walter Sieruk says:

    To state the obvious, the deceptive and insidious jihadist thugs of ISIS will try to do all they are able to entice ,with falsehoods and sly deception, to cause young and impressionable women to actually want go to the lands that ISIS now controls. The ruthless and cruel fiendish men of ISIS will use and exploit them .As in to manipulate and use them as tools and stooges for their Islamic cause . How totally unconscionable of the ISIS Muslim men. Those girls and women will have a very strong ,rude and harsh reality check when they find out the hard way that the brutal men who composes ISIS were lying to them. How completely despicable of men of ISIS. So sad and tragic for those girls and women who are and who will be victims of ISIS.

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