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Women of the Caliphate: The Mechanism for Women’s incorporation into the Islamic State (IS)

perspectives-on-terrorism-10-5Journal abstract

The ongoing incorporation of women into the Islamic State (IS) is unlike what any other jihadi organization in the recent history of jihadism has attempted to achieve. An important question is therefore: how does IS reconcile its ultra-conservative Islamic narrative of women, with the organization’s incorporation of women? By analyzing primary data collected through fieldwork in the Middle East, the author of this article argues that, through the platform of ‘gender-segregated parallel institutions,’ IS has established a mechanism by which Muslim women are being effectively incorporated into its envisaged Islamic State. Through this mechanism, IS has inspired a substantial number of women from around the globe by advocating an alternative narrative of divine redemption to the one of secular emancipation of women.