Saturday, March 28, 2015

IS And Women. Part 3: The Western Female IS Militants


Meet Zahra and Salma Halane, seventeen-year-old twin sisters from Manchester, England who are not currently living the lives of typical British teenagers.  That's because they left England last June to follow their brother, Ahmed, in joining IS/ISIS/ISIL in Syria.  In the short time since then they have both been married to IS militants and they have also both been widowed.

Zahra's online communications suggest that the twins are members of one of the two women's brigades in Raqqa, Syria, possibly the al-Khansaa brigade, which has the task of policing other women's behavior according to the IS version of sharia.  Violations of the sharia code might mean not being adequately covered (say, missing the obligatory face veil) or being out without a mahram (husband, father, brother or adult son).  Some violations result in floggings.

Here Zahra Halane poses in front of the IS flag while holding an AK-47:

Meet Aqsa Mahmood, a twenty-year old student from a fairly affluent family in Glasgow, Scotland.  She is no longer attending to her studies, because she left Scotland for Syria in late 2013 to join IS:

Since then she has married an IS militant and commented online under the name of Umm Laytt.  Some see her as an online recruiter for IS.  Whether that is her official role or not,  her online site  contains suggestions of help for other women who might wish to join IS as well as explanations for her reasons for becoming a female jihadist.  She appears to live in the Syrian "capital" of IS, Raqqa.  Here she is with two other female jihadists (Umm Haritha and Umm Ubaydah)

These are three examples of the women and girls of IS who have independently joined the terrorist movement and cut their ties to their families and previous homelands.  All three come from the UK, but other women have traveled to Syria to  join IS from countries such as France, Germany, Austria, the US, Sweden, Canada and Indonesia.

Who are these foreign women of IS/ISIS/ISIL?  Why do women and girls voluntarily join a terrorist organization which plans for a caliphate where women's rights would be minimal and their freedom of movement nonexistent?  Why do women and girls voluntarily join a terrorist organization which openly practices rape and sexual slavery of "non-believing" women and children, not to mention the beheading of aid workers and journalists?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Flu Thought

What does it say about me that the front of the Sudafed box seems to have a line saying Noam Chomsky?

That was Non-Drowsy for those of you who don't have a head full of snot.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This Is Weird. A Press Release from the House Judiciary Committee.

It's full of those moving GIFs which always make me feel as if I'm trying to follow table tennis played very fast by very small mice. 

But that's not what is weird about the communication.  The topic is president Obama and US immigration laws.  And the GIFs:

In a reflection of the racial demographics of House Republicans, all of the GIFs in Wednesday's Judiciary Committee press release depict white people, among them Jennifer Lawrence, Britney Spears and Steve Carell. The vast majority of the 245 House Republicans are white. Seven are Hispanic, and two are black.

Unlike House Republicans, however, the people seen in the GIFs are nearly all female. Only 23 House Republicans, or a little less than 10 percent, are women.
“The Little Mermaid” tells the story of a woman who is part fish and who longs to emigrate from sea to land. In the 1989 Disney film, the mermaid stays on land.
Who is the press release intended to reach?  I wonder and wonder.

And yes, this is old stuff.  My apologies for it.  I got the flu even though I got vaccinated.