The Twisted Psychology Of Jihad Brides
By Dr. Phyllis Chesler
The most barbaric bunch of blood-thirsty misogynists this side of Genghis Khan are yearning for western “brides”—and the “brides,” who will be no more than sex and reproductive slaves, are coming, via an internet campaign, to service ISIS’s male Jihadis in the Caliphate in formation in Syria and Iraq. There is a “marriage bureau” in the northern Syrian town of Al Bab for Western women in a marrying state of mind.
Britain’s interior minister Theresa May warned that “we think around 400 UK-linked individuals have gone out to fight in Syria, mainly young men but also some women.” Officials worry that these numbers will rise “with the increased online activity luring vulnerable women to Syria.” The would-be “brides” are given point-by-point guidance on what to expect.”
What is coming their way is far darker than Fifty Shades of Grey.
While a desire to romanticize and tame the savage beast may be at work, I think that other motives are involved in the matter of the brides for Jihad.
Thus far, it is estimated that only hundreds, not more, of such Western girls and women have actually gone to join ISIS/ISIL in Syria and Iraq. But police and other experts fear that the number may grow.
Some Jihad Janes are mentally ill and, like Maryam Jameelah (aka Margaret Marcus of Larchmont), may find that becoming ardent spokeswomen for Maulana Abul Ala Mawdudi’s Islamist ideology helps them solve the profound limitations of mental illness.
Some Jihad Janes may have been sexually and physically traumatized by their Western families and seek to escape the country or the culture that allowed this to happen. They may not know that they are jumping from the proverbial fire pan into the fire itself.
Young, impressionable, naïve, and dreamy girls and women may yearn for a Grand “Arabian Nights” kind of Adventure. I doubt they have ever read the Arabian Nights, which is filled with the most bestial acts imaginable, including that of be-heading virgin brides at dawn, after the marriage has been consummated.
I understand this all too well since I, too, once yearned for a grand adventure—and I had one. I write about it in An American Bride in Kabul. What began as a fairy tale soon became a nightmare in which I found myself fighting for my life. I barely got out alive—but that I did. I know what it is like to live in purdah and in a polygamous family—one in which I was pressured to convert to Islam every day. And this was before the Taliban, before Al-Qaeda and the rise of the Caliphate maniacs. Even then, Afghanistan was a place in which-- in addition to great natural beauty, elegant hospitality, humor, and warmth-- could be described as rampant with indigenous misogyny, cruelty, poverty, illiteracy, paranoia, political prisons, routine torture, and the most profound ignorance. The kind of Islamic gender and religious apartheid that I lived was not caused by Western capitalism, colonialism, or imperialism. This was one of the most important lessons that I learned.
Today, young Western girls and women are being lured by internet ads posted by ISIS/ISIL pimps, both male and female, which appeal to their desire to be part of something larger than themselves; something important and possibly dangerous. However, what may be attracting them at a deeper level is, paradoxically, the promise of non-freedom. For many Westerners, too many choices function as a burden and accepting a role in which one’s duties are fixed may seem preferable. Also, just as young men in search of attentive father-figures may be easily indoctrinated by Jihad handlers whom I describe as serial-killers-by-proxy—young women, in search of apparently benevolent and “caring” mother-figures may be similarly lured by women into this particular misadventure.
A woman who becomes a Muslim wife believes, however incorrectly, that she will be rewarded and loved for following the rules and that she will have female company at all times, that she will never be lonely, isolated, or unhappy again.
Here’s what this dreamer does not know. War zones are exceedingly dangerous—and her marriage will be the most intense war-zone of all. If she is lucky, she will (only) be forcibly face- and body-veiled and she will never again breathe easily in a stifling, hot climate. Her fate may include polygamy which, contrary to myth, does not necessarily mean “female solidarity” and supportive female company. Co-wives do not always get along and, frustrated, angry, and competitive, they often routinely mistreat and make life miserable for each other.
Then there is the normalized wife-beating for any Muslim wife who is viewed as having committed even a small infraction. If she or her daughters are viewed as “shameful” in any way, they will be honor killed, stoned to death, be-headed in the public square.
She may be expected to undergo female genital mutilation so that she will never be able to experience sexual pleasure; every sexual interaction will be agonizing as will each and every experience of giving birth (Or of urinating, etc.).
Being pregnant all the time and having to give birth under primitive conditions is also a high risk proposition. Jihad Jane may not fully understand that she can easily be divorced and will have no recourse. Her children will never “belong” to her. They are the custodial property of their fathers and of their father’s family and clan. If a Bride for Jihad ever changes her mind and wants to flee, she will have to do so with no help, with the hounds of hell hard at her heels—and without her children; without even pocket change.
She might also find herself jailed or whipped for some minor infraction, or stoned or be-headed for a more allegedly serious infraction.
That’s if she is lucky and she enters into a “proper” Islamic marriage.
What may be going on here is something else, namely temporary marriages or Sexual Jihad. She may find herself passed from one Holy Warrior to the other with absolutely no say in the matter. Her “marriage” may last an hour or a day. It is well known that there are legal Islamic religious laws which enshrine just such practices. One source has found and posted just such a brothel-like schedule in Arabic—and translated it into English.
Another source has described what is going on as sex trafficking—but for Jihad. “Sex traffickers—whoever they are—prey on the young, the vulnerable, the weak. Why would we expect anything different from terrorists?” They are also known as “holy war brides” and one sex schedule shows these girls how to take turns with the Iraqi holy warriors (in terms of) sexual relations.
If she is young, exceptionally white, has blonde or red hair, has large breasts, and a “pretty” face, she may find herself sold into the harems of Saudi Arabia, Brunei, or the Gulf States.
We live in dangerously unsettling times and, at such times, women especially seek out those men who may appear the strongest in terms of their ability to protect their women. If so, what might this tell us about the relationship between certain Western men and such women? And what might this tell us about the cultural literacy, self-worth, and rationality of such Western women?