Monday, March 05, 2007

Female suicide bombers: Why they do it

The element of sexual coersion and rape is rarely mention in this phenomenon.  Here it is. J.D.

Female suicide bombers: Why they do it
Posted: March 3, 2007

By Marylou Barry

If we Americans have learned nothing about Islam since 9-11, we at least have all been exposed to the belief that slain terrorists will receive as their reward 72 beautiful virgins with whom to spend eternity (or, more precisely, 70 virgins and two human wives from this life).

James H. Walsh, a former federal prosecutor and U.S.-German Marshall Fund scholar, wrote an article in 2006 about the recent increase in females taking part in jihad. A European counter-terrorist source, he says, has estimated that "70 percent of converts to Islam are women, and that women make up at least 23 percent of the present day suicide bombers."
But even in the culture of gender apartheid, female bombers aren't your kinder, gentler jihadis.

"My dream was to be a suicide bomber. I wanted to kill 20, 50 Jews. Yes, even babies," declares Wafa Samir al-Biss, a 21-year-old Palestinian who tried unsuccessfully to detonate herself at an Israeli checkpoint in 2006.
In view of these claims, is it out of order to wonder what motivates these women to commit such atrocities? Are they also counting on a reward in paradise when they die? What is it they think they'll get for their trouble? Seventy-two dark-eyed men? Maids to wash the celestial dishes? A bag of pomegranates from Safeway?

Nothing quite that specific, according to some experts.

"It is sufficient to realize the words of Allah: 'They shall have whatever they wish with their Lord,'" writes Shaykh Faraz Rabbani of
the Shariah Program website. "In Paradise, if we wish for something, it will be there before us, and no one will find anything less than everything they could possibly seek."

Apparently, that doesn't include a basic right already enjoyed by free women everywhere: husbands of their very own. Muslim sources overwhelmingly agree that women in "paradise" will still be limited to one husband, most likely not of their own choosing, whom they still will have to share with 70 celestial virgins and another human woman.
"While a man will get many hurs (virgins) in Jannah (Paradise), a woman would be made the queen of Jannah. Her beauty will far outshine the beauty of the hurs,"
declares Mufti Ebrahim Desai of Ask the Imam.
The human women will be fair in complexion and will wear green clothing and yellow jewelry, Desai says. If a woman has had more than one husband, she will be allowed to choose which one to stay with, and she will choose the one with the best character. Also, he says, she will not be "adversely affected" when her husband receives his 71 other women.
"It is explicitly mentioned in the Holy Quran," he explains, "that Allah Ta'ala shall remove from the hearts and minds of the inmates of Paradise any rancor, malice, jealousy or sense of injury."

"He (Allah) may compensate them by making them feel content with their position,"
Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, of Islam Online, offers hopefully.

"Instead of worrying about what they will get in Jannah, the women should concentrate their endeavors on pleasing Allah and thus getting to Jannah," Desai concludes.

Special perks for those strapping on suicide belts and blowing themselves up don't seem to be on the agenda.

With the female reward in the hereafter sounding less and less alluring, one might wonder if there are associated personality traits that contribute to a woman's - or for that matter a man's - susceptibility to terror recruitment. Yes, there are, according to many observers.

James Walsh quotes an analyst at the Brussels-based European Strategic Intelligence and Security Centre, which claims 2006 Belgian bomber Muriel Degauque "had a classic profile for a convert to radical Islam. She had a drug problem when she was younger; she had no real job; and was not very close to her family." We can expect more cases, Walsh's source predicts.

Wafa Samir al-Biss had been disfigured in a house fire months earlier and was undergoing free Israeli medical treatment at the time of her attempted attack on the lives of Israeli soldiers.

"The ugly scars - which had been treated in a hospital in Israel - had probably helped turn her into the perfect would-be huriia (virgin), the ideal martyr, since they would make it difficult for her to find a suitable husband," writes the Telegraph's Manuela Dviri, who interviewed al-Biss and other inmates in a high-security Israeli prison.

"Some of them did it to make amends for a relative who was a collaborator, others to escape becoming victims of honor killings," Dviri says, "and for the psychologically frail or depressed it was a good way to commit suicide and at the same time become 'heroines.'"

"Because of my religion. I'm very religious," one of the other failed bomber inmates gives as her motive. "For the holy war there's no difference between men and women martyrs."

Another convict explains she wanted to be "the chief of the 72 virgins, the fairest of the fair." This is a belief and motivation held by many of the women she interviewed, Dviri explains.

"Suicide becomes the preferred tactic when Muslim women perceive they have no other alternative to effect change to their local environment," says Farhana Ali, a terrorism analyst for the Jamestown Foundation and associate international policy analyst for the RAND Corporation.

"Coupled with a heightened sense of anger, disillusionment and despair, some women choose suicide as a way to communicate and channel their frustration. This is particularly true for those who believe there are no other social, economic or political opportunities available to them. Š Assured of the rewards of martyrdom, women perceive they have nothing to lose."

Frontpage Magazine Managing Editor Jamie Glazov
agrees - and adds a sadistic twist.

"A growing phenomenon exists," he writes, "in which Palestinian militants seduce and/or rape Palestinian women and then threaten to expose their 'impurity' unless suicide murder is chosen as the glorious and redeeming way out.

"The unfortunate female victims in this vicious death orchestra are coerced into blowing themselves up as the only way to spare their family's, and their own, 'honor.' The terror group Fatah, for instance, runs an operation in which male terrorists seduce or rape young women and then confront them with the deadly choice: shameful death in an 'honor' killing at the hands of the family, or the washing away of the family's shame by 'martyrdom.'

"Hamas engages in the same crime, as the heart-wrenching case of Reem Al-Reyashi illustrates. The mother of two young children, she blew herself up in January 2004 at the Erez crossing in Israel, killing herself and four Israelis. It was discovered after the suicide killing that she had been seduced by a Hamas terrorist - who afterwards offered her a choice between an 'honor' killing or suicide by means of explosives detonated amidst as many Jews as possible. Her terrorist lover armed her with the necessary explosives and instructions, and her husband drove her to the location of her crime and death."

In "Hijab of Blood: The role of Islam in Female Palestinian Terrorism," published in the ERCES Journal, attorney Maria Alvanou points out, "The religious dimension, as an indoctrination and incitement strategy, is necessary to condition and prepare Palestinian women to abandon their families, lives, their traditional role in a patriarchal society and engage in the worst of terrorism activities without remorse."

Drugs, instability, dysfunctional families, physical or mental impairment, moral failings, frustration, depression, fear. The need to escape or to protect family members. The desire for personal beauty, equality, human dignity and love. Indoctrination from early childhood into hatred of other people. A religious system that teaches "Thou shalt kill" - and proves it. All these factors can - and have - contributed to the morphing of the young and innocent into convicted murderers without a hope or a future.
"As Voltaire put it well," Alvanou concludes her treatise, "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

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