Extremism (part 3)
Radicalization of women.
It is not that I just want to attack the patriarchal making of societies. But when one gives it a brief thought and questioning of what makes young women in Europe, the U.S. or in the Arab countries join ISIS, it wouldn’t be hard for a Palestinian mind like mine to have a quick answer.
I remember during the second Intifada, when Suicide Attacks became a symbol for Palestinian resistance. I was a firm supporter to that notion until I met the person who was recruiting future or past suicide attackers. At that moment when I saw that man’s own fight for his own life, I asked, what makes his life more valuable than that of those whom he recruits. Why was it a whole meaning of life to stay alive while he was dragging people to their own deaths?
But, regardless to what I realized, I still understood what went into the suicide attackers themselves, whom to me were more of victims. And I myself always carried the notion of being a “suicide attack potential”. All what one needed was to cross a checkpoint and endure the kind of humiliation and stripping away of what means or be a human being to lose the sense of virtue that life means.
As the rise of ISIS came to the spotlight. What seemed impossible at the beginning to believe became part of what reflects our own identities? Either with or against.
It was maybe understandable to see the joining of males, as an outcome of narcissist, pathetic upbringing in making men believe that they are the center of power. Each man is raised to believe that everything in life and about life is about him and for him. Taking that man into an ideological despair and injustices inside societal political structures, made many men rush to their aspired Caliphate and emirate to be the next caliph or emir or a mujahid.
What should one expect from an upbringing that is based on the greatness of the past and the conspiracy against Islam inside a mixture of a world that is suffering from islamophobia?
As for women, it is far more complicated.
In a set up of a patriarchal structure that is carefully designed to oppress women, women face double challenges here. In an upbringing that directs her directly to obedience in order to gain paradise if lucky, some found in ISIS as a delusional remedy and hence, liberation. Going directly to the hand of God’s sent Mujahidin, who will liberate the Islamic nation from the demon west and oppressive regimes and consequently, suppressive male dominated family under a husband, a brother or a father.
It is about offering both men and women a good reason to hold to life. In order to make a man be convinced that his salvation is not in a future caliphate that will give him justice, and a woman who would be ready to be enslaved by a mujahid whose path is closer to heaven than that of a husband, as a preparatory stage before becoming an eternal “hawari” (women promised to men in paradise).
Focusing on women education is an important step into women’s enlightenment. Women need to realize their own values and virtues not continue to be taught what and who they are.
It is education that women need, not empowerment to bring a change. Women have been trained (empowered) to endure the injustices that befall on her. Women need to know by themselves what they need to do for themselves in order to be able to bring change to the world. Those women are practically making.