Male Muslim terrorists have killed innocent bystanders in Paris, London, Boston, Orlando and many other places.
But watch out for the women.
That’s one of the messages in a new book, “Invisible Martyrs: Inside the Secret World of Female Islamic Radicals,” by Farhana Qazi, the first Muslim woman and the first American Muslim to join the U.S. government Counter-Terrorism Center.
“Understanding the threat of women terrorists has never been more critical,” Esman writes. “Not only are more women joining jihadist groups, thanks in large part to internet recruiters and the outreach of ISIS operatives, but women, Qazi reports, can be even more destructive than men.
“‘Not only are they less conspicuous, thanks in part to burqas and other body-coverings, but ‘on average,’ she writes, women have ‘killed four times more people than male operatives,’” writes Esman.
Tashfeen Malik became the first female Muslim terrorist to hit on U.S. shores when she and her husband, Syed Farook, killed 14 in San Bernardino, California, in 2015.
The author of the book, Qazi, writes: “I discovered that some viewed violence as a weapon of choice. They believed in the radical interpretations of Islam. These women joined extremist groups to give purpose to their lives and effect change: to rewrite the future, to say I am within the boundaries set by men, to cleanse an unwanted past, to fall into favor with God, to cast away something broken or bruised or scraped, to push beyond the limits of their gender, to find a like-minded lover, or to experience the connection that a woman feels when she joins a sisterhood.”
The book contends some women engage in violent jihad because of the ostracism that comes with “so-called honor crimes” and their rights being “dictated by a patriarchy of irrational and ignorant men, many of whom support the radical interpretation of Islam – the barbarism, the beastly action, and a culture of humiliation and shame narrated by violent extremists.”
Qazi says these same men “prey on vulnerable women, who are misguided, misinformed, and mistaken, incapable of differentiating the universal values of love that the Quran promotes from the teachings of corrupt, crooked men with blood on their hands.”
Some women, she said, choose violence to avenge the loss of a husband or child.
“Qazi explores the stories of multiple women, from Rania Ibrahim, who was 15 years old in 2008 when her aunt and mother – both al-Qaida members – strapped her into a suicide vest in Baghdad, to the three Sudanese- and Somali-American girls from Denver, Colorado, apprehended in 2014 as they tried to reach the Islamic State,” the review explains.
Authorities believe the Denver teens were radicalized online, and the book considers whether “the social isolation that Muslim girls and women often feel” is a factor.
“This is also true of converts, who can be especially vulnerable to Islamist suitors, recruiters for terrorist groups who prey on naïve and largely uninformed young women, promising them love and happiness if they only give themselves to Allah,” the review said.