A drastic change in the face of terrorism has manifested itself as women actively participate in terrorist acts as active fighters or suicide bombers.
Terrorists have warped the Islamic teachings to include women in their so-called Jihad. According to Mia Bloom, a professor for communication in Georgia State University, women who join the terrorist groups are motivated by revenge, redemption, relationships or respect. She adds that these women more often expect to find solace in the terrorism world but it’s usually not the case.
Mia explains that women join terrorism due to fantasy as explained to them by the recruiters but overlook the reality that awaits them. The promise of good lifestyle motivates them into finding themselves into death valleys. “They target very young girls online, they groom them and take them to Somalia, Libya or Yemen to be used as a reward for sexual satisfaction especially to foreign fighters.” Explains Mia.
Amina Adan, a former Al Shabaab sex slave was lucky to escape alive to tell her story. “I could serve up to 10 Al shabaab fighters in a day. I was lucky to have caught the eye of one of the commanders who took me in as his wife. I was forced to abort every time I conceived, which is against Islamic teachings. The last pregnancy almost killed me. I thank Allah I live to tell my story to other girls who might have the same wishes I had of traveling to Somalia to join in Jihad. The only thing I came back with was departed dignity, low self-esteem and to crown it all, HIV and Aids.” She concludes.
Dr. Fatuma Ahmed Ali, a public relations expert, however, urges the society to be more candid on issues to do with extremism. “Families must speak with their girls accordingly and bring them up in a Godly way. Parents should have conversations with their children and reduce the parents-children gap.” She explains that the war against terrorism can only be won by countering the extremism narrative with the right narratives.