Women for Unholy War: IS Religious Betrayal on Human Security

Women for Unholy War: IS Religious Betrayal on Human Security


During social media band in post Easter Sunday attacks; few young and educated Islamic females’ photographs went on viral, they were “Wanted” for interrogations pertaining to the attack series. Couple of them were recognized as supervisors in the attacker’s group.

 “Thus Jihad or holy war was not simply permissible: to fight the unbelievers and reestablish a true Islamic state was required”. As John L. Esposito marked on Unholy War; Islamic State terror group acquires the human resource to trigger on human species. Aiming the background weaknesses and temptations, IS terror group use women for their horrific war on the same basis.

As a religious terrorism trap, which promises to battle against human insecurities which was introduced by Barry Buzan on want, indignity and fear, are equally required by women and not be identify as feminism.


How does IS religious trap use Human Security concept?

Young Islamic middle-class females gain the success in their tertiary education but the physical exposure has been marginalized. Their life expectations to overcome from socially build frame and to face unjust law and order fuel the moderated religious trap lounged by extremist terrorists for their female recruitment campaign.

Despite the fact that women psychology combined with their strong emotional decisions and loyalty, they have various insecurities such as “hunger”. Poverty always combine with hunger, and poverty breeds terrorism. An expansive current discussion topics in Sri Lanka, religious base marriage and divorce law has an ability to abandon a divorced mother with her children without an entitlement for compensation for dependency. The IS religious betrayal targets her thereon. Extremist terrorist group’s solution is to owe her life for the religious war, her children will be taken care by the group. Her obstacles and helplessness are qualifications for her to be convinced to be a part of holy war.

Treating women radicalized mentalities, extremist terrorist group membership offers the knowledge in weapons handling and military practice which gives her a feeling of a “heroin”.  For narrative online recruitment campaigns with equality approaches and female centric propaganda, IS have issued a video last year on female fighters for the first time.  

Women experiencing threats on their dignity, seek the religious guidance to build up the emotional strength. Domestic violence, under age marriages and higher age gap in marriage, lack of sanity in sexual relationship, sexual and emotional abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, forced prostitution, girl child prostitution and labor; are very sensitive causes for women indignity. However; Jihadism represents their ideology as an escape to the horizon. Within the battle against indignity, females become loyal to the terrorist group and settle for the religious trap as she is helpless in the society. She justify her physical and sexual serve for the group, is also as a service for the god. She owe herself to expand and establish the caliphate. Lack of interest in matrimonial life convince women to be sexually traded in order to raise funds for the extremist group.

IS religious betrayal dive through to reach depressed women who encompass herself in self purity from her previous sins, and that she could be easily convinced for “martyr”. Jihadism justify “martyr” for which god will reward for glorifying god instead of punishing who committed suicide. Similarly; Jihadism permits to holocaust nonbelievers, where suicide bombers justify their act in religious trap and gain their dignity after the suicide.

“Fear” as an insecurity, fear of losing a marriage, children, parents, social status and fear for social exclusion, force her to battle against the fear through the membership of the terrorist group which offers authority and supremacy attitude among the Jihadi society when she owe her life to the group. It is an assurance to gain freedom from fear and make her feel included and religiously supreme. In South Asian context women’s role is familial and dependent. IS recruits her to the group through male members of her family using her fear.


Do not fall!

Male centric society knowingly or unknowingly provoke extremist terrorist groups to recruit more female affiliates, by marginalizing human security of women. It creates a void in the society which compress women and urge them to escape from.

Building sympathy for female affiliates is not ethical after taking oaths of IS group but the fact that the religion been used as a trap to recruit women to IS terrorist group. Misinterpreting the religious concept in psychological and emotional recovery, females were given fatal options in Jihadism just to succeed their legacy in Islamic State and Female membership assures the establishment and expansion of the caliphate and indoctrinate families.  Rewarding its followers to assassinate its’ nonbelievers and establishing the ideology is not normal unless there is an extremist terrorism behind the religious curtain.

Building national laws and regulations does not seize the ability of a society to practice them but their ideologies does. Ideologies of the society to be refreshed and proper religious teaching has to carry on with the wisdom to improve the awareness and understanding.

Ekminee Malavipathirana is MPhil/PhD Student at Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Views expressed are the author’s own.