Wednesday, 22 March 2017

** FATHER FRANK’S RANTS Rant Number 719 22 March 17 JIHADI GIRLS

Rant Number 719         22 March 17


Has Islamic State missed a crucial step in refusing to embrace feminism? Nelly Lahoud, who teaches US military, contends that much.

Last year in Mombasa, Kenya, three burqa-wearing females threw a petrol bomb and stabbed two policemen. The cops shot them dead. The relatively piffling attack struck Ms Lahoud. A thrilling sign that ISIS had at last chosen to make women warriors of the Jihad, along with men? To allow its women to ‘explore their eros’, as she intriguingly puts it?

The besieged Raqqa Caliphate’s declared policy is to bar free mingling between sexes. Because of the risks it may lead to fornication – unlawful sexual activity, according to Islamic Law – though Ms Lahoud would prefer to call it ‘exploring eros’. Admittedly, Jihadi men’s sexuality is less constrained. They can take as many as four wives, plus slave-girls. Practices not always conducive to household tranquillity. Quarrels between jealous wives have ensued. Though the wives can unite in beating up the unfortunate concubines. A headache for the returning male soldiers, I guess…

Still, reports of cruelties towards slave girls are ‘lies and false stories’, a Caliphate spokeswoman warns. Islamic Law urges kindness towards slaves, even if infidels, the lady reminds. Not impossible. Remember the WWI Allied propaganda lies about German soldiers in occupied Belgium cutting off the hands of children? Maybe the slave girls are having an agreeable time. Better protected than prostitutes in the West, ISIS claims. Huh!

In her IISS Survival article, Ms Lahoud reproaches ISIS for not promoting ‘female empowerment.’ Because of its exclusion of females from the battlefield. Or playing an active role in the Jihad. Actually, because Jihad has many meanings – ranging from writing to raising money – women are not inactive in Caliphate ranks. Quite apart from supporting their fighting husbands, they campaign online for the cause. Fiery Jihadi poetess Ahlam al-Nasr has even suggested joining men on the terror battlefield. Until Mombasa, the offer had not been taken up.

An example of female or ‘erotic’ empowerment Lahoud quotes is a tad controversial. A certain David Biale attributes the success of the Zionist project – establishing the jolly State of Israel – to an ‘erotic revolution’ among its Zionist citizens. Odd quotation. Because famed Israeli military historian Martin Van Creveld maintains that women, even the butch IDF amazons, tend to reduce efficiency on the battlefield. Their presence hinders the men. And the females’ fighting is not up to scratch. It follows that the Caliphate would be ill-advised to imitate IDF. Besides, the idea that ISIS should wish to emulate the women of the loathed, diabolical ‘Zionist Entity’ is bizarre, to say the least.

Jihadi females do physical exercise, know how to use a gun and enforce proper public women’s conduct in Caliphate territory. (Misogynist Scottish reformer John Knox would have approved: in his invective against ‘the monstrous regimen of women’, he conceded that ladies can have power over other ladies.) But one thing bothers Nelly Lahoud: those women do not have a full combat role. Namely, they can’t go out and kill. Again, a little odd. Given ISIS indiscriminate terror tactics, suicide bombing and targeting of innocent civilians of any religion, would the multiplication of such outrages thanks to women’s involvement cheer her feminist heart? I wonder…

Lahoud accuses the Mombasa attackers of ‘ideological confusion’. They stated that their action was aimed at encouraging their brothers in religion to follow suit. Not their Muslim sisters. (Guess a rabid misogynist might sneer at ‘peculiar female logic’.) Their guilt was in not being feminist enough, presumably. But that says more about Nelly’s doctrinaire position that the Jihadi women’s. They wanted their example to inspire men to do military Jihad. Not the women. I discern no ideological contradiction in that. Because Jihadi ladies are not ‘feminists’ in the Western cultural sense advocated by Ms Lahoud. Logical enough.

The Kenya episode stirred up a lively Jihadi debate on online forums. ‘Is it permissible to for Muslim women to act in such non-Muslim way as to lure infidel enemies by feigning romance, so the infidels may be killed?’ someone asked. An astute chap. Because he pointed out that ‘the enemy’ can be hooked with three baits: money, power and women. Pretty universally accurate of a secular society, methinks. Of course, faithful females acting that way would have to act promiscuously, behave sinfully. (A situation familiar to spies. The morality of people in, say, certain environmentalist terror groups is that of alley cats: how can they be infiltrated without sleeping around?) Does the end justify the means, ‘infidel’ writer Machiavelli asked long ago? Jihadis have a large stock of hadiths and traditions to accommodate that one, surely.

ISIS as a whole suffers from ‘ideological incoherence’, Lahoud chides. She asserts the wars fought by the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia included the participation of fighting females. A model presumably normative for ISIS. Here the priest pleads ignorant. True or not? I’d be grateful for scholarly enlightenment. Although I suspect the Prophet’s overall paradigm of female ‘empowerment’ differed a little bit from that of Ms Lahoud. Anyway, she argues it has to do not with sharia’ but eros - the recurrent bee in her bonnet. Jihadi men are obsessed with keeping their females chaste, even if detracts from the Jihad’s victory. Maybe. Pity they don’t take Nelly Lahoud as their a’alima, a guiding scholar. Nor do they buy into her Western-style brand of dogmatic feminism. They would then see light and more innocent people would be slaughtered by lethal Jihadi girls. Lovely prospect, eh?

Revd Frank Julian Gelli


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