First women to join the jihad

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Creato Giovedì, 31 Ottobre 2019 12:33
Ultima modifica il Lunedì, 26 Aprile 2021 08:21
Pubblicato Giovedì, 31 Ottobre 2019 12:33
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For an organization that has always tried to keep women away from the battlefield and now changes dialectics, it is difficult to find a way to get the attention and especially the approval of its supporters for a choice that would go - according to conservative Muslim doctrine - against their own ideology and their Islamic beliefs. Yet more and more women are involved in suicide attacks: since 1980, no fewer than 4400 suicide attacks have been carried out by male-bombers and female-bombers. 
Chronicles of the first kamikaze women in the Middle East date back to April 4, 1985. The first is the 17-year-old Lebanese Saana Muhaidily who blows herself up by throwing herself with her white Peugeot against an Israeli checkpoint at Batr Shaouf, killing two soldiers and injuring two others. Before she died, according to a tragic ritual that had become classic, the girl had recorded a video message in which she declared herself ready to die in order to drive the Israelis out of Lebanon. Until now, women were excluded from such actions for religious and social reasons. Saana's changing the order of things. Her gesture is interpreted as a warning to the conscience of millions of Arab men. She became a popular icon throughout the Middle East in the 1980s, received public praise from Syrian President Assad, and was given poems and prayers. But above all, a dangerous spirit of emulation is unleashed: on July 9 of the same year, another woman, always at the wheel of a car filled with explosives, launches herself against a checkpoint in Ras Bayada in southern Lebanon, killing two soldiers. She's almost considered a saint by her people.  On 27 January 2002, Wafa Idris, a 28-year-old nurse, arrived in Jerusalem probably on board a Red Crescent ambulance. She enters a shoe shop to ask for the price of a pair of shoes. Once she's out, she walks down Jaffa street. At 12. 20 p. m. the ten kilos of explosives that Wafa carries in the bag explode, killing an elderly tourist guide and injuring dozens of civilians. The rescuers are presented with a macabre spectacle: on the asphalt, a head with long black hair. The bomber is a woman. She is the first Palestinian female suicide bomber. Idris becomes a real heroine for Palestinian public opinion: since the beginning of the second Intifada (Jerusalem, 28 September 2000) no woman had yet sacrificed herself. The story of Wafa still leaves some doubt: it was impossible to establish whether it was her will to die or whether her tragic death was determined by an early trigger that had left her no escape. The consideration she enjoys from her death is envied by many Palestinian women accustomed to being mistreated and misconsidered by men. As with Saana, Wafa's gesture is imitated by other girls. In fact, only after two months, another 18-year-old girl, Ayat Al-Akhrass, handed over her "will" to her schoolmates and went to the city to get herself blown up. On 27 February 2002, 21-year-old student Darin Abu Aishe blew up at a checkpoint near Maccabim (central Israel). Darin studied English at Al-Najah University in Nablus, a real terrorist recruitment base since the student council is controlled by Hamas. Her last message, recorded on video, is a message of hatred towards Ariel Sharon. On April 12, Andaleeh Takatka explodes at bus stop 6, near a market in the sadly famous Jaffa street. On October 4, the death also arrives on the seafront of Haifa. The lawyer Hamady Tayer Jaradat brought it. Her brother was killed. She was looking for revenge. 
The first woman-bomb of the Hamas Islamists is called Reem al-Reyashi. Reem was the challenge of the female suicide bombers, young mother of two children of 3 and 1 year. The video message she leaves is a declaration of love for them. Reem killed 4 Israelis at the Erez crossing, in a building used to control the laborers who go to work in Israel. When she arrived in front of the metal detector, she explained that she had a metal plate in her knee, so that she could enter the room where the soldiers were without arousing suspicion. And here she set in motion the explosion mechanism. Isis has attracted hundreds of young girls to her network, manipulated, persuaded to leave with the promise of a better life and then reduced to slavery, such as Samra Kesinovic and Sabina Selimovic, who left Vienna on April 10, 2014 when they were 15 and 16 years old.  But the women of Isis are not just victims. The scenario has evolved. They are considered "fanatical and radicalized". 
Europe's first jihadist suicide bomber, Hasna Aitboulahcensi, blew herself up during the November 2015 raid in St. Denis. Hasna Aitboulahcen is a pioneer in Europe, but it is one of more than 220 women who have been blown up in half the world since 1985. Before her, in the occupied Palestinian territories, a dozen women have been involved in suicide attacks in the last fifteen years. As in Iraq, Turkey, Russia, Nigeria and India where the use of female suicide bombers is a less and less exceptional phenomenon.  On 29 March 2010, two women blew up at an hour's interval in two Moscow metro stations, killing 37 people and injuring dozens of people. On August 31, 2004, another Chechen woman blew herself up in Moscow, killing 10 people.  Since 1999, dozens of women, mainly Chechens, have become suicide bombers. They have been immolated in the Moscow metro, in planes, near police stations, during rock concerts, in front of buildings.  In 2002, at the Doubrokva Theatre, 19 "black widows" were wearing a bomb belt to take 130 people hostage.  In Iraq, since 2003, about fifty women have chosen to die for Allah, among them, only last year, about twenty, which represents about 10% of the total bombers. This means that the number of women involved is constantly increasing.  On 1 February 2010, for example, more than 46 people were killed and some 260 injured in an attack by a suicide bomber in Baghdad: Yasser Arafat activated the detonator while she was in line with other women waiting to be searched. Yasser Arafat, "Nobel Peace Prize", in January 2002 created the female word of martyr, Shahida, which had not existed in Arabic until then, and invited women to participate in the armed struggle by declaring: «You are my army of roses that will crush Israeli tanks».  The most respected Shiite religious in Lebanon, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, blessed Palestinian female suicide bombers by saying that they were writing the pages of a new and glorious story for Arab and Muslim women. Another example is that of Aminah, who wanted revenge for the death of her husband (killed in 2011 by an American drone) through a suicide attack.  A terrorist attack unleashed in Paris in September 2016 was conceived by an all-female IS cell, and the following month 10 women were arrested in Morocco for planning a suicide attack during the parliamentary elections.  In France, Morocco, Kenya, Indonesia and the United States there have been several cases of women active in the creation of attacks on behalf of the Islamic State. So far, the chronicle of a phenomenon that violently shakes our consciences evoking the ghost of the inexplicability of the existence of people for whom the struggle for an ideal is more important than life itself. These women, whose stories all resemble each other, seem to have given up, or been forced to give up, any faculty of free judgment, whether through persuasion, violence or the administration of drugs. As previously mentioned, death arrived in shopping malls, central streets, markets, concealed in handbags or concealed under clothing to simulate a pregnancy. Death was caused by women, through what are the symbols of femininity: the fondness of the handbag, the sweetness of an upcoming motherhood.  Almost twenty years after its debut in modern history, suicidal terrorism preserves the image of an extreme instrument of terror, and these cases of chronicle should lead us to think of the important role that women have acquired within the new military doctrine of the group, of their possible tactical use, but, above all, of how the strategic logic of the IS group has changed. Women play an increasingly important role in this game, and underestimating its presence can be a risk.
di Noemi Genova