German broadcaster ARD has come under intense criticism for allowing a niqab-clad woman to appear on a talk show and tout Syria as a “promised land” for disillusioned youths.
Nora Illi, a convert to Islam, is the women’s representative of a group called the Islamic Central Committee of Switzerland, Yahoo reports. She appeared on the popular Sunday night talk show Anne Will alongside a man who lost his daughter to ISIS, a German lawmaker, an expert on Islam, and an imam. The panel discussed why so many young Europeans are being radicalized.
Illi has argued on Facebook that youths who flee to Syria to wage jihad should be praised for their “civil courage.”
“Muslims are faced with repressions all over the world,” she wrote, according to The Washington Post. “It is no wonder that the temptation to break out of that misery is gigantic.
“One must highly praise such a determination as civil courage, given that context.”
On the talk show, Illi said that women “who feel that they have been shut out by society and want to break away could view Syria as the promised land, as the only way out.”
“That’s propaganda, that’s unacceptable on public television,” interjected Ahmad Mansour, an expert on Islam.
Illi also faced pushback from the show’s guests when she claimed that “in Islam, women have many rights and possibilities. We don’t have to balance family and career as much as other women do. We can evolve in our role.”
Twitter users swiftly condemned ARD for broadcasting these comments to viewers, and some German media outlets classified Illi’s words as “a call for jihad.” NRD, the talk show’s producer, has stood by its decision to have Illi as a guest, saying that her “controversial attitude over the departure of young people to Syria was clearly expressed and debated.”
Read the full story at Yahoo.