The number of women joining the Islamic State is rising

While the number of British people overall leaving to join the Islamic State has decreased since two years ago, the number of women joining has escalated. It remains baffling to many that an extremist group, known for its harsh treatment of women and it’s selling of captured Yazidi women into sexual slavery, could have such an appeal to young Western women. But the BBC reports that women play a crucial role in the ISIS’s strategy for building its so-called “caliphate” and have been targeted specifically by the group. Dr. Katherine Brown, an expert in Islamic Studies at King’s College London, explains that the extremists want citizens for a “utopian state,” and women are seen as “the cornerstones” of this new society. Through the use of social media and aggressive online recruitment, ISIS has been luring women to Syria, where they are usually quickly married off to a jihadi fighter. Aimen Deen, a former jihadist and al Qaeda member, argues that women are necessary for the group to survive. “They are half of the society. They are playing an important role in many departments: the medical department, the educational department and even the tax collection department, so they are essential for the survival of Islamic State.”

Read the full story at BBC.

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