More Than Marriage: ‘Sisterhood and Rebellion’ Spur Radicalisation of Women, Study Claims

Unverified data suggests some 100 British women and girls travelled to Syria and Iraq to join the Daesh terrorist group.

Women and girls who attach themselves to Daesh* are driven by more than love or marriage, The Guardian reports, citing research by a counter-extremism London-based thinktank, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

To aid those who are working with women and girls returning from Daesh-held territories, the ISD put together guidance that offers an insight into the complex combination of factors that they claim spurs radicalisation.

The guidance, which says it seeks to overthrow the simplistic view carried by the mainstream press that marriage is a dominating factor in many such cases, is based on interviews with intervention providers who worked with more 250 radicalised women and girls in the UK and the Netherlands.

The ISD team says beyond love or marriage, profound feelings of social exclusion, rebellion, and the appeal of sisterhood often motivate the so-called “jihadi brides”.

Undoubtedly, marriage is a factor in many cases, states the research, but adds:

“A simplistic view of the motivations of women and girls affiliated with Islamist extremism can reinforce misleading stereotypes and biases that suggest that women are passive followers rather than active, ideological supporters.”

Travelling to the proclaimed caliphate was perceived by some to be an opportunity for achieving a “true and pure Islamic life”, spurred by a desire to be part…

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