In an apparent attempt to broaden their appeal, the Pakistani Taliban have launched a women’s magazine.
Published by notorious Islamist group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the first edition of Sunnat E Khaula (The Way of Khaula) features a completely veiled woman on the cover, seen facing away from the camera. Articles include an interview with the wife of TTP’s leader Mullah Fazlullah, who married at 14, making the case for child marriage. “We have to understand that mature boys and girls if left unmarried for too long can become a source of moral destruction,” she argues. Another story derides western-style education.
The editorial says the aim of the 45-page, English-language publication is to “provoke women of Islam to come forward and join the ranks of the muhajidin [holy warriors] of Islam.” To that end, an advice column advises women to begin weapons training. “Like-minded” women should “get together” and “learn how to use a grenade,” it suggests. Readers are urged to “organize secret get-togethers at home”, arrange “physical training classes for sisters” and “learn how to use simple weapons.”
TTP is implicated in many of Pakistan’s worst terrorist attacks, including a school massacre in Peshawar in 2014 that left 150 people dead — most of them children. In a separate attack on a playground, a suicide bomber killed more than 70 people.