by Ségolène on February 16, 2015 - 5:59am

In this article, the journalist summarizes David Thomson's book, entitled "The French jihadists." It shows the importance of women in the new jihad mostly leaded by ISIS in Syria and Irak and the importance of social networks in their indoctrination. According to David Thomson, journalist and author of The French Jihadists, it would be on a range of 100-150 women and children, along with French fighters installed Syria. 

Who are they? 

If the phenomenon's more and more attracting for women, it is because jihadist groups used different words to tackle them… They pay more attention in their speeches to the Muslim woman in the Syrian jihad, in which they make sure to spread a traditional image of women.
 "The jihadist ideology tends to introduce women as very valuable, completing the image of man ». According to them this image of the Muslim woman (" al-ukhti "," sister "in Arabic) is flouted in the West.

This discourse resonates in the minds of young women and men who have developed resentment towards religious policies in their countries of origin (TV5 Monde, August 8, 2014.) These women feel they serve a cause they consider just. Throughout the Syrian jihad, and the possible creation of a new state Islamic, they endorse the defense of Muslim men and women repressed in the world, especially in Syria by the Alawite Assad. 

According to David Thomson still, three scenarios are possible: 

1) First, some of them get a promise of marriage to a French jihadist who is already there. Most of the time it is on Skype or via social networks. They leave only their husbands but found there. Once they arrived, their future husband called the family back in France and ask for permission to marry the father. Note that in Syria, jihadists of Daech opened a dating agency for women "willing to marry fighters." 

2) Then there are the ever-married women with a jihadist who go with children in Syria. 

3) And finally there are those who marry on French soil in order to leave Syria. 

Women are clearly outnumbered by men, but their presence is still significant: they account for a quarter of the French engaged in brigades in Al allegiance Nosra affiliated with Al-Qaeda or the group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant group (EIIL ). They are sometimes only teenage girls, the youngest aged 14. Older were in their thirties. 

Many have converted to Islam, as the young Clemence, former practicing Catholic, he is talking about in his book. Clémence decided to emigrate from France to an Islamic country. This irrepressible desire to leave came from Facebook: "The trigger is stupid, it is seeing the video of a sister, a single converted French who had problems with the law here and who left alone, to marry in Syria.” Clemence, 32, unemployed, talks about her disorder before the video: "I felt concerned and relevant It was amazing, it was Hollywood , it was a movie .” She emigrated alone.. . she flew and she married there, she married a man there. 

We understand that while radical Islam advocates ultra-conservative and archaic values, it knows how to play new technologies such as social networks to attract women and to indoctrinate them. 


Marie-Adelaïdes Scigacz, Les femmes djihadistes se racontent sur les réseaux sociaux, FranceTVinfo.fr, September 2014



It is interesting to see how jihadi terrorism has changed in the last years. From 9/11 backwards, women had a relatively minor role in global terrorism. At present, jihadists groups as the ISIS or AQIM do not merely focus on carrying out suicide attacks but they try to spread their ideas -intensive religious discipline- as wider as possible. Thus, women -and children- are becoming a main target of jihadists' propaganda as they try to gain social support.

Dear Segolene,

I really enjoyed reading your article. You chose an interesting topic of your personal interest. While reading your article, I got the impression, that this topic really matters to you. This motivates the reader to keep reading.
You structured your text in logical way. The sub-headings make it easier for the reader to keep track. I also would like to acknowledge that you use quotes to increase the credibility of your text. This is great. However, sometimes, the way you quote is formally not correct. I would recommend to use the Harvard citation style when you quote. One thing you could improve, is the formal writing style. Sometimes, you use expressions that are informal like the three dots at the end of a sentence. Using a formal way of writing can make your article sound more sophisticated. I liked that you divided the possible scenarios into three seperate aspects. Furthermore, I enjoyed to read of the concrete example of Clemence. Empirical examples make the text more realistic and interesting to read. Finally, I advocate that you close your article with a conclusion, in which you sum up, what we have learned out of your argumentation. All in all, you have written a very interesting text, which is well-structured. You could still improve it by using a broader variety of sources.

I think you chose a very interesting and up to date topic for your article that really warrants further research.

It is relevant that you chose to mention french jihad because Islam is the second most important religion in France and since the "Charlie Hebdo" Attack, the government is very involved, especially militarily, in the fight against religious extremism.
Radical Islam has made women its new targets and understood the influence of the media and especially social networks on women. Isolated, unemployed, in need of affection and adrenaline, women represent indeed an easy target
for jihadists.