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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 6 Feb 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Exposing ‘Aurat’ Invites Rape, Selangor Tells Muslim Women

New Age Islam News Bureau

6 Feb 2015

Jais claimed covering up would help women to stop themselves from being harassed, in addition to preventing negative ills such as rape, illicit sex and incest ― File



 China’s Ban on Islamic Veils Is Destined to Fail

 ISIL Publishes Treatise on Womanhood in Apparent Bid to Recruit Saudis

 Los Angeles New Mosque Sparks Discussion on Role of Women in Islam

 Mysterious Woman from Canada’s Rapid Rise in ISIS Puzzles Intel Analysts

 ‘Marry At 9, Stay Home’: Women Jihadists Issue Guide to Life under ISIS

 Female Peshmerga Fight Islamic State

 Depraved Islamic State 'Selling Children As Sex Slaves And Using Them As Suicide Bombers'

 ISIS Jihadi Brides from UK Post Images of Military Drills with Kalashnikovs

 Afghan Taliban Use Children to Achieve Targets

 Jordan Pilot’s Wife Has Not Seen Grisly Video

 Female Iraqi Militant Held by Jordan Is Heroine to Jihadists

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





Exposing ‘aurat’ invites rape, Selangor tells Muslim women

February 06, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 ― Muslim women should cover up their “Aurat” to prevent rape and other forms of sexual harassment, Selangor’s Islamic authority said in its Friday sermon today.

The sermon, prepared by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) and available to mosques state-wide, also compared women who do not cover up to homes which are left unlocked, and therefore are liable to break-ins by robbers.

“The easiest comparison we can take is a house which was left by its residents who returned to their hometown. House A was left with its windows and doors properly locked, its fences secured with padlocks. Meanwhile, House B was left open and carelessly abandoned.

“Which house would robbers love and break into? Surely house B because it was exposed and made it easy for external elements to intrude. Therefore, that was a simple analogy for women who cover up their ‘Aurat’,” said the sermon.

“Aurat” in Malay refers to “intimate body parts” that Muslims must cover with clothing; exposing these is considered sinful.

According to contemporary Muslim teachings, Muslim women’s “Aurat” towards unrelated men is their whole body except their faces and both palms.

Friday prayers are attended almost exclusively by Muslim men in Malaysia.

Jais claimed covering up would help women to stop themselves from being harassed physically and mentally, in addition to preventing negative ills such as rape, illicit sex and incest.

The sermon also refuted claims that the Islamic practice of covering up suppresses individual rights, blaming so-called “enemies of Islam” for perpetuating the notion.

“Allah prohibits men and women from exposing their Aurat not to restrict their freedom, but because Allah exalt and appreciate them. No man or woman are persecuted by covering their Aurat, but exposing it means being cruel to themselves and destructing others,” it added.



China’s Ban on Islamic Veils Is Destined to Fail

February 06, 2015

Regional authorities have now outlawed Islamic veils from all public spaces in Urumqi, the regional capital of China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. The Urumqi ban, which went into effect on Feb. 1 (coincidentally the third annual “World Hijab Day”), empowers Chinese police to punish violators and dole out fines of up to $800 for those who fail to abide by the prohibition.

In recent years, the veil has emerged as a key battleground in the struggle to regain stability in Xinjiang. Stripping women of their head and body coverings provides the Chinese Communist Party with a rare measure of what it sees as progress in the struggle against what it calls “Islamic extremism” in this far western region. However, as officials seek to eliminate veiling, they risk further straining an already fragile relationship between the Uighur ethnic minority, a predominantly Muslim group for whom Xinjiang is their homeland, and a party machine dominated by the Han ethnic majority and its cultural values.

With hundreds killed in violent attacks in Xinjiang since 2012, the party has ramped up its efforts to eradicate a range of veiling practices among Uighur women. The new rules (translated here) emerged in January when the Xinjiang legislature ratified a local regulation banning women from donning full-face veils and body coverings in public spaces in Urumqi. According to officials, this attire “prevents security personnel from knowing the identity of veiled individuals,” and therefore poses a threat to public security.

Yet there is a lack of clarity over the precise styles of head and body covering the rules prohibit. The term used in the regulation to describe prohibited conduct, mengmian zhaopao — literally, “to mask the face and/or cover the body with a robe” — is vague and imprecise given the wide variety of veiling practices popular in Xinjiang. The regulation also prohibits other symbols of “religious extremism.”

The ban comes amid a marked increase in veiling among Uighur women since the early 2000s. Party officials have become especially concerned by the popularization of the niqab, jilbab, and heavy-netted veils that cover the entire head (known as tor romal in Uighur), but have also deemed the now highly fashionable Hijab — which covers the entire head and shoulders but not the face — as “abnormal” attire. These styles of Islamic veiling, Chinese authorities (and some Uyghurs) insist, are alien to Uighur culture.

The Urumqi ban is the latest in a series of local legislative efforts aimed at compelling Uighur women to de-veil. The Urumqi ban is the latest in a series of local legislative efforts aimed at compelling Uighur women to de-veil. Last year, officials in Qaramay and Ghulja prohibited the “five types” (individuals wearing face veils, Jilbab, Hijab, long beards, and star-and-crescent clothing) from entering public spaces and boarding public buses. In March 2014, authorities in Turpan, a county-level city in Xinjiang, drafted legislation that would ban the concealment of the face in public. The regulation, which was closely modelled on previous French and Belgian prohibitions, was submitted to the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, for consideration.

In place of Islamic veils, the party has promoted colourful ätläs fabric, embroidered doppa hats, and braided hair as “normal” symbols of Uighur femininity. To help set these fashion standards firmly in place, XUAR officials launched “Project Beauty” in 2011: a five-year, $8 million dollar campaign aimed at developing Xinjiang’s fashion and cosmetics industries while encouraging Muslim women to “look towards ‘modern’ culture” by removing their veils. Fashion shows, pageants, and lectures on ethnic policy, ethnic attire, and social etiquette seek to persuade Uighur women to “let their beautiful hair flow and show their pretty faces.”

Meanwhile some local officials have decided to approach veiling with a heavier hand, and sometimes with deadly results. A May 2014 report by Washington, DC-based non-profit Radio Free Asia claims that police in Aksu prefecture fired into a crowd protesting the detention of several women and middle school-aged girls who defied a local school ban on head coverings. During an August 2014 sweep on illegal religious activities in Urumqi, authorities confiscated 259 jilbab, 1265 headscarves, 293 hats, and 50 meters of fabric that could have potentially been used to make illegal “religious” garments. And throughout the region, authorities have heightened surveillance with some local police stations registering veiled women.

Why is the party willing to pour resources into anti-veiling efforts when this clearly provokes the ire of many Uighur? The short answer is that the party has drawn a direct link between veiling and radical Islam and even terrorism. However, the party assault on the veil is based on a superficial and flawed premise: that dress is a reliable indicator of extremism, or even political loyalty.

Conversations the first author has had with dozens of young Uighur men and women make clear that only a tiny minority is turning to radical interpretations of Islam. On the contrary, women (as well as men) attach a range of different meanings to head and body coverings. For some young women, the veil is a sign of membership in a modern, transnational Muslim community, while others see it as primarily a fashion statement or symbol of Uighur identity. For some young women, the veil is a sign of membership in a modern, transnational Muslim community, while others see it as primarily a fashion statement or symbol of Uighur identity. For many, the decision to veil is a personal matter that often follows marriage and conforms to Islamic injunctions for female modesty. Other Uighur refuse to cover their heads and consider “imported” styles perversions of Uighur culture and tradition. In short, although a significant number of Uighur have embraced more formulaic Islamic practices, the community continues to debate the boundaries of its identity just like other Muslim communities across the globe.

Yet the party-state is unwilling to allow this debate to play out. From its inception, the party has sought not only to classify and regulate ethnic diversity but define its very content: with museums, textbooks, and even play cards prescribing “standard” and “normal” customs, habits, and costumes. As an inherently fragile regime, the party-state must reassure a wary public, especially Xinjiang’s nearly 10 million-strong Han community that it remains firmly in control. In the face of ethnic and religious violence, de-veiling has emerged as a convenient marker of “victory” in the battle for social stability.

Similar to tallies of seized explosives and weapons and its lists of detained suspected terrorists, piles of confiscated veils divert public attention away from the social and economic problems that continue to grip Xinjiang. When officials in the Xinjiang city of Kashgar announced that more than 70 percent of veiled women removed their coverings in 2012, it implied officials had also reduced Islamic extremism and shored up stability in the region. Yet the end result is a more intrusive party-state — one intent on hollowing out the few remaining spaces for a self-defined Uighur identity and autonomy.

The party will continue to target head-coverings in Xinjiang, but de-veiling women will likely come at a high cost: a deepening rift of mistrust between the Uighur and the Han-dominated Communist Party. If Uighur voices are left out of the discussion on Islamic dress, as they have been in other social debates, the veil, in its many styles, will continue to evolve as a symbol of Uighur defiance to Chinese rule.



ISIL Publishes Treatise on Womanhood In Apparent Bid To Recruit Saudis

February 06, 2015

An all-female brigade of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has published a treatise on womanhood in what some annalist say is an apparent bid to recruit Saudi women and others from the Arabian Peninsula.

Produced by ISIL’s Al-Khanssaa Brigade, the manifesto enumerates the ways Muslim women should behave in ISIL-controlled territory, a wide swath of land that includes much of Iraq and Syria.

The "most pure" women, the text says, must be wed by age 16 or 17, and girls as young as 9 may be married off to an ISIL fighter.

The Al-Khanssaa Brigade — an all-women fighting group named after a 7th-century poet who wrote elegies for her brothers who died in combat — says women should only leave the house to practice medicine, teach or study religion, or if it has been ruled that she must participate in a “jihad.” The ultimate purpose of a woman's life, the document says, is to produce children.

These ideas, originally written in Arabic, stand in stark contrast to much of ISIL's rhetoric in English. Many European women fighting with the group have emphasized the more "adventurous" aspects of joining its cause, according to Katherine Brown, a defense studies lecturer at King’s College in London. “The [ISIL] narrative provides young women from North America and Europe with a meaningful purpose of their lives that they don’t necessarily have in the West,” Brown said.

The guide's sober picture of what is expected of Muslim women exposes as fabrications the social media accounts posted by many Western female ISIL fighters, said the Quilliam Foundation, which translated the document into English.

“Just as they have sexed up what it is to be a woman living in the so-called [ISIL] caliphate, this document dresses it down. Women, it is unambiguously stated, are homemakers and mothers,” the foundation said in concluding remarks to its translation.

The treatise was disseminated in Arabic and not in English, despite the presence of English speakers in the Al-Khanssaa Brigade. This has led some experts to conclude that the pamphlet was specifically targeting women from the Arabian Peninsula.

In couching its message in religious terms borrowed from the Wahhabist branch of Islam, Brown said, the group may be pushing its political goal of opposing the ruling powers of Saudi Arabia.

“By saying, ‘We’re more Muslim than you in a way, we’re going to appeal to your citizens and demonstrate that we’re more Islamic than you are,’” Brown said, "they set themselves apart as a challenge to the monarchy of the Gulf."

Despite advocating for women’s confinement to the home, the authors do encourage literacy, telling women they should study religion, cooking and Quranic Arabic, according to the Quilliam Foundation.

One page of the treatise shows the announcement of the opening of a medical school in Raqqa, ISIL’s operating base in Syria. The text indicates that a girl's education ends at the age of 15.

There was no mention of the thousands of women who have reportedly been raped and enslaved by ISIL fighters since they launched their brutal campaign across Syria and Iraq.

"There has been a huge amount of speculation about what the role of the women who join [ISIL] — often dubbed ‘jihadist brides’ — is," Haras Rafiq, Quilliam Foundation's managing director, said in a statement.

"[This translation] allows us to look past the propaganda bandied about on social media by Western supporters of [ISIL], enabling us to get into the mind-set of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of women who willingly join its ranks," the foundation said.

Al Jazeera and Reuters



Los Angeles New Mosque Sparks Discussion on Role of Women in Islam

February 06, 2015

LOS ANGELES—A women’s-only mosque launched here last week and believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S. has sparked a nationwide discussion among Muslims over the role of women in Islam.

“The debate has started that will have monumental consequences for Muslims,” said Aslam Abdullah, the imam and director of the Islamic Society of Nevada, in Las Vegas. “The old establishment will not accept change easily, but I think gradually it will happen as women assert themselves. Things are changing. Women cannot play second fiddle any more.”

Mr. Abdullah, 63, supports the women’s mosque and wants to encourage greater attendance among women at his own mosque, 7 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. But he said feelings in his congregation—which draws between 250 and 500 worshipers for Friday prayers—are mixed.

Some object to women leading prayer and giving sermons; others worry if women’s-only worship catches on elsewhere, it could divide communities along gender lines, he said.

Muslim women have long complained of feeling marginalized at traditional mosques, where they often are separated from the main worship space and don’t have much opportunity to engage with the preacher, or imam, after services. Some mosques don’t admit women at all; more conservative scholars believe women’s prayers are best offered at home.

The women’s mosque founders—a comedy writer and a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer—said they began to feel unwelcome at their home mosques because of the physical separation of men and women. They said they started the Women’s Mosque of America to invigorate women’s scholarship in Islam and inspire Muslim women to take more active leadership roles in their home mosques.

Hind Makki, a Muslim woman in Chicago who consults with mosques around the country on women’s inclusion, said responses across the Muslim community fall roughly into three basic categories: conservatives who say “the mosque and all-female Friday prayer is a sin”; women and some men who say it’s “awesome and what we’ve been waiting for”; and others who say it “raises critical questions” about women’s experiences inside mosques, and Islamic law.

“The most important thing is that mosque and mainstream leaders are listening,” Ms. Makki said, adding that the women’s mosque “has re-energized those who are working to encourage mosques to embrace the inclusion of women.”

Sarah Sayeed, a board member for Women in Islam Inc., a women’s and human-rights organization based in New York City, said she supports the women’s mosque in Los Angeles and believes it is bringing attention to “how women feel marginalized and spiritually isolated in the mosque.”

But, she added, “we want to be careful about creating another segregated space.”

For example, she said, her 17-year-old son wouldn’t be permitted to enter the new women’s-only mosque with her. “We think it’s important to seek change from within,” she said.

Yasir Qadhi, an influential Muslim scholar in Memphis, Tenn., with a large following, wrote on his Facebook page Monday: “It is an undeniable reality that women’s prayer spaces…are less accessible, less clean, and less maintained than the men’s sections.” He added: “We either put them in the same hall as the men…or provide state of the art [audio video] access to the lectures.

“Rather than believe that they should stay home, we need to contextualize our environment and ENCOURAGE our sisters to come to the most blessed places in their cities: their mosques,” Mr. Qadhi wrote.

The women’s mosque has received “overwhelmingly” positive response, said Hasna Maznavi, one of the founders. She said mosque organizers have heard from other women in Chicago and San Francisco who are considering starting their own women-only mosques.

“Sometimes it takes a catalyst to start the conversation, and we’re happy to play a part,” she said.

The effort has even drawn support from other religious groups: several Jewish women attended the first Friday prayer in Los Angeles as a signal of support for the women’s service—held at a former synagogue that is now a multifaith center.

On Wednesday, Ellen Jennings, pastor of Cleveland Park Congregational Church in Washington, D.C., said she would like to see her United Church of Christ congregation and others consider “offering space for Muslim women to gather and pray.”

“I’m delighted to see this movement happening,” Ms. Jennings said. “I believe women of all faith traditions deserve to play a full and respected role within their tradition.”

Write to Tamara Audi at



Mysterious Woman from Canada’s Rapid Rise in ISIS Puzzles Intel Analysts

February 06, 2015

A mysterious jihadist who left her home in Canada in late November to join ISIS has toured the caliphate like a VIP, appearing in key locations throughout Syria and Iraq and prompting intel analysts to wonder what is behind her seemingly elevated status.

Little is known about the woman who calls herself "Lama Sharif al-Shammari" on Twitter and who terrorism experts simply call “L.A.” They believe she left Canada some time after Nov. 23 to join Islamic State, arrived on Dec. 8 and was in Syria as recently as Tuesday. Analysts believe she may be a Sunni Muslim of Saudi descent.

But what sets "L.A." apart from thousands of radicalized foreigners who have flocked from North America and Europe to the terrorist army's killing fields is that her Twitter account shows she has been to virtually every corner of Islamic State's bloody realm within a three-week period, according to analysts. They believe her whirlwind itinerary indicates she is somehow significant and has risen inexplicably through the ranks.

"What is really surprising is that in a very short period of time, L.A. appears to have taken an extremely active role with ISIS," said Veryan Khan, of the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC), a Florida-based global research firm specializing in political violence and terrorism.

Government and private intelligence agencies closely monitor social media accounts of known jihadists, not only for the substance of their chatter, but also for its origin. Khan said the woman known as L.A. has sent Tweets applauding Islamic State atrocities from "virtually every major city that ISIS controls.”

“We have never seen someone move about this rapidly," Khan said. "What makes it even more unusual is that she is newly travelled to Islamic State. Having only been there since Dec. 8, it is odd that she would become so active so quickly once arriving,” said Khan.

Intel analysts want to know more about her, and what is responsible for her lofty status in the world’s biggest terror army. Hundreds of women are among the radical Islamists who have travelled to join Islamic State, but have so far served primarily in supportive roles or as brides, according to experts.

None are known to belong to self-professed "caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's inner circle, and none have appeared in the videos in which ISIS fighters have executed captives or issued threats to the West.

Khan believes this makes L.A.'s movements even more significant.

“Based on L.A.’s locations and congruent battles in these locations, it is been assumed that she is conducting, at least on some level, surveillance for the Islamic State,” Khan said.

L.A. – or “Toronto Jane” as she has also been dubbed by Khan’s group - has been to at least five cities within the vast territory controlled by Islamic State, leaving tracks in strongholds like Raqqa, Syria, as well as appearing in Kobani, where the terror group fought its most ferocious battles with Kurdish forces supported by U.S. airstrikes. She has also turned up in the Syrian cities of Dier ez Zur and Aleppo and in Mosul, Iraq.

“It is not merely the amount and location, but also the time frame — she has been very active in what essentially adds up to three weeks,” Khan said.

Tweets sent by L.A. reveal a committed radical enthusiastically promoting Islamic State's signature atrocity - beheadings. While will not link to L.A.’s Twitter feed, her banner is an image of a severed head, taken from an infamous ISIS propaganda video in which an Islamic State leader orchestrates an unprecedented simultaneous beheadings of 22 people.

“Though we have seen this trend of using the images of the foreign fighters of this video as avatars on Twitter, it is pretty bold to feature the severed head,” Khan said.

L.A. has posted 131 tweets, all in Arabic, to her 145 followers, according to her Twitter page. Her most recent tweet, from Syria, came on Jan. 23, the day Saudi monarch King Abdullah died.

"Fill the world with the noise of his news, like he filled the land of 'Al-Haramain' (Saudi Arabia) with the bases of the American Military invader," read the tweet, according to a translation provided for by Craig Smith, chief investigator with Bright Star Investigations. "Write him (King Abdullah) as many laments as are his treasons."

Based on an analysis of her tweets, Smith believes L.A. is a Saudi Arabian whose family is from the Al-Shamry tribe, and that she harbours "extreme hatred" for the Saudi royal family for allowing the U.S. military on Saudi soil during the Iraq War.

Her posts were first noted by the Ontario-based intelligence research company iBRABO, which worked with TRAC while monitoring her cell phone location matching it up with corresponding tweets. The firm claims it has pinpointed her recent presence in Kobani and Mosul down to specific homes.

“She had interactions with key players known in the region," Khan said. "Plus there is no way to fake the location services pinging from the actual phone. If you look at her locations outside of Kobani and Mosul — they were all strongholds we can pinpoint down to the actual house on the street.”

Geo-mapping the locations of people has been around for a number of years, said Chris Roberts, founder of One World Labs, an organization that specializes in cyber security and threat intelligence.

“Most people on the planet don’t seem to realize they are being tracked by several applications on their phone,” Roberts said, adding that Twitter development has a “geo tag” that uses two pieces of data, the “reference” to the user’s location, which can be set, and the latitude/longitude code from the phone’s triangulation capabilities.

The terrorist group has been active on social media, using it to issue threats and post videos of its bloody handiwork, but top ISIS brass apparently realizes that they can be tracked through tweets.

Al-Baghdadi and Islamic State spokesman Mohammad al-Adnani issued a statement earlier this week about unauthorized messages from within their organization in which they said neither has a personal account.

“The Caliph Abu Baker Al Baghdadi and Shaykh Abu Mohammad al-Adnani al-Shami do not have accounts on social media,” read a translation obtained by Fox News.

But social media is a powerful recruitment tool for Islamic State, and sick messages and images sent by devoted adherents like L.A. help swell its ranks.

According to Canadian media reports, the Canadian Security Intelligence Services has documented 130 to 145 citizens who allegedly left Canada to participate in terrorist activities, including 30 fighting with terrorist organizations in Syria.

About 80 returned to the country, the agency reported, allegedly for terrorism-related purposes. The government has opened investigations into another 90 citizens with suspected extremists ties.

The Canadian government also is working to stop recruitment of its citizens by revoking citizenship and passports of extremists.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper proposed new legislation last week that would crack down on home-grown terrorism, including making it a crime to promote terrorism online.

Speaking to a group at Richmond Hill, he said last week: “Violent Jihadism is not a human right. It is an act of war, and our government's new legislation fully understands that difference."

According to Ryan Mauro, national security analyst for the Clarion Project, L.A.'s new prominence could even help Islamic State lure more women to Syria and Iraq, he said.

“These men are interested in having ‘wives’ come to the so-called caliphate to live with them,” Mauro said.

He said promotion of women like L.A. could be a deliberate effort by Islamic State to change its image.

“Islamic State wants to redefine feminism by characterizing Western society as oppressive towards women," he said. "They choose to highlight women to show that their ideology treats women fairly as equals in jihad.”

Malia Zimmerman can be contacted at



‘Marry At 9, Stay Home’: Women Jihadists Issue Guide to Life under ISIS

February 06, 2015

Militants from an all-female group working for the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in the Middle East have released guidelines for women, which encourage girls of nine to marry men and finish their education at 15.

The document, which is believed to be the first of its kind, entitled: “Women of the Islamic State: Manifesto and Case Study” and written in Arabic, has recently been translated by Quilliam, a UK-based counter-terrorism think tank.

The document was authored and distributed on jihadist forums in January by a media wing of the Al-Khanssaa Brigade– an IS branch dubbed as the jihadists’ female policing brigade, according to Quilliam. The document said it’s not official Islamic State policy, but rather guidelines that were put together by women supporters.

The text, interlaced with religious texts, is divided into three sections. The first is a rebuttal of Western civilization, focusing on education, sciences and feminism. The second describes women’s life in territories controlled by jihadists in parts of Syria and Iraq. The final section compares women’s lives in IS-held territories with those in Arab states, including Saudi Arabia.

The manifesto stresses that the main role of a woman is to stay home and “remain hidden and veiled.” The document encourages young girls to get married at the age of nine, while the “most pure girls will be married by 16 or 17.”

An “ideal education” curriculum for girls between seven and fifteen features religious studies, knitting and cooking.

The group condemns beauty salons, wearing fashionable clothes and jewelry, shaving and piercing, and said these practices were inspired by the devil.

It also denounces the scientific achievements of Arabic scholars and scientists in Western states. The document said the “ideal Islamic community" should refrain from science and trying to uncover the secrets of nature.

According to Quilliam, the document was designed as a means of drawing in women from countries in the region, in particular those in the Gulf, as it was written only in Arabic.

“Just as they have sexed up what it is to be a women living in the so-called caliphate, this document dresses it down. Women, it is unambiguously stated, are homemakers and mothers,” the think-tank said in remarks to its translation.

The document does not mention any of the abuses of jihadist militants against women and children, who are kidnapped, raped, tortured and forced to convert to Islam.

Quilliam added that this translation gives deeper insight than the propaganda bandied about on social media by Western supporters of IS, “enabling us to get into the mind-set of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of women who willingly join its ranks.”

Earlier, the Islamic State released a guidebook for young mothers with “helpful tips” on how to raise a Mujahid child.



Female Peshmerga Fight Islamic State

February 06, 2015

ERBIL: Kurdish women have joined the Peshmerga forces to fight Islamic State (IS) alongside their male colleagues.

Female Peshmerga Kochar Doski told BasNews, “We have taken to the battlefield as female Peshmerga to fight IS already and we will continue to do so.”

“We are trained in the use of heavy weapons, artillery, and as snipers. So we utilise different skills as each operation requires.”

“We participated in the liberation of Mount Sinjar, and clashes around Khazr and the west Tigris,” she explained.

“We are willing and well prepared to defend Kurdistan like our Kurdish brothers; however we are just 75 women on this frontline,” Doski said.



Depraved Islamic State 'Selling Children as Sex Slaves and Using Them as Suicide Bombers'

February 06, 2015

DEPRAVED Islamic state militants are selling abducted children as sex slaves, using them as suicide bombers and killing others by crucifixion or burying them alive.

In acts of sub-human depravity the terror group is killing, torturing and raping children of minority groups in Iraq, according to a report issued in Geneva by the United Nations.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said it has received reports of “several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children, and burying children alive.”

Iraq’s military has been struggling in its fight against the Islamic State, and the government has pleaded repeatedly for more weapons and training.

The UN agency said Iraq needs to “take all necessary actions to ensure the safety and protection of children and their families.”

Girls are being sold as sex slaves, while children - often with learning difficulties - are being used as suicide bombers.

Others are simply being murdered, the report says.

The children are often from the Yazidi sect or Christian communities. Others are Shi’ites and Sunnis.

The report revealed a host of horrifying outcomes for captured children including boys under 18 being used as bomb makers, informants or human shields to protect facilities against US airstrikes.

Committee expert Renate Winter said: ”We are really deeply concerned. Children of minorities have been captured in many places...sold in the market place with price tags on them. They have been sold as slaves.

“We have had reports of children, especially children who are mentally challenged, who have been used as suicide bombers, most probably without them even understanding.

“There was a video placed (online) that showed children at a very young age, approximately eight years of age and younger, to be trained already to become child soldiers.”

The report also notes a large number of children have been killed or badly wounded during air strikes or shelling by Iraqi security forces, while others had died of “dehydration, starvation and heat.”

The experts who worked on the report called on Iraqi authorities to take all necessary measures to “rescue children” under the control of Islamic State and to prosecute perpetrators of crimes.

Winter added:”There is a duty of a state to protect all its children. The point is just how are they going to do that in such a situation. The scope of the problem is huge.”

According to the report, militants are targeting vulnerable children, such as those with disabilities, those living on the street, refugee children, and those who have lost their parents, as well as children from Syria and Turkey who have found themselves in Iraq.

Islamic State has targeted teachers and health personnel for executions and has subjected schools, recreational areas, and hospitals to targeted attacks, the report found.

The militants released a video showing a group of ethnic Kazakh children undergoing military training. A young boy, apparently also an ethnic Kazakh, was shown in a second video released in January, in which the child appeared to carry out the execution-style killings of two Russian-speaking men.

Images of children carrying guns or knives and dressed as soldiers are frequently shared on social media accounts belonging to Russian-speaking militants who are fighting alongside the IS group in Syria and Iraq.

Meanwhile, Jordanian fighter jets yesterday pounded Islamic State hideouts in Syria and then roared over the hometown of a pilot killed by the militants while King Abdullah consoled the victim’s family below.

Witnesses overheard the monarch telling the pilot’s father the planes were returning from the militant-held city of Raqqa. A security source said the strikes hit targets in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor and near Raqqa.

The king has vowed to wage a ‘harsh’ war against the militants. He has pledged to hit the militants “hard in the very centre of their strongholds.”

The show of force came two days after militants released a horrific video showing the pilot being burnt alive while locked in a cage.



ISIS Jihadi Brides from UK Post Images of Military Drills with Kalashnikovs

February 06, 2015

Two British twin sisters, who travelled to Syria last year to become ISIS Jihadi brides, have posted recent pictures of them participating in a military drill armed with pistols and Kalashnikovs,.

In the images posted online by the British teenage girls Zahra and Salma Halane, 17, one woman is seen holding a pistol, while two others are seen firing Kalashnikov assault rifles during the target shooting practise.

"Fun day training for self defence in the Islamic state with humble sisters," read the post on the Twitter account that posted the pictures. According to the The Telegraph, the account that posted the pictures and the message belongs to Zahra, while another account thought to be Salma's has re-tweeted it.

Salma also posted an image showing women armed with weapons firing their guns in an open field.

The twins - Salma and Zahra left Chorlton, in the northwest of England, in the summer of 2014 to become 'jihadi brides.' The two reportedly got married to ISIS militants in Raqqa, whom they had met online. Their family had reportedly tried in vain to get them back to come to UK.

A recent report found that the young girls and women, who have joined ISIS in Syria, have become "desensitised" to murder and "revel in the gore."

The study conducted by Institute for Strategic Dialogue, published by attempted to understand what made women educated in the West to join ISIS.

The study said: "There is no doubt, therefore, that the women who migrate to the territory controlled by Isis revel in the gore and brutality of the organisation. They appear desensitised to the horrific nature of the violent acts being committed."

The study also had warned that British women who have travelled to these regions could return home to carry out terror attacks. It is found that at least over 500 women from Europe have joined ISIS.



Afghan Taliban Use Children to Achieve Targets

February 06, 2015

LASHKAR GAH – A 10-year-old girl in Helmand Province January 25 foiled the Taliban's plan to send her and many others to their doom.

Insurgents in Lashkar Gah recently kidnapped the young girl, identified by security officials as Kolsoom, while she was returning home from school. They tried to make her carry out a suicide bombing against security forces in Helmand Province, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said.

Fortunately, she came to her senses and turned herself in to police.

Using children as weapons

The Taliban and Haqqani Network (HN) have a lengthy track record of using children to carry out their nefarious acts, rather than trying to protect them.

The HN December 11 used a 15-year-old boy to attack a French-operated high school in Kabul. The attack killed one and injured 20 others.

The NDS arrested a man in Jalalabad while he was trying to smuggle 27 children from Nuristan Province to Pakistan, NDS spokesman Hasib Sediqi said one day after that suicide bombing.

The man confessed to plotting to have the children brain-washed in extremist seminaries for use as suicide bombers, Sediqi said.

"The Taliban mostly use children as war instruments," Col. Sayed Rahman Shayeq, the commander of Civil Order Police (COP) in Helmand, told Central Asia Online.

"We're concerned about the issue of using children as weapons and the problems this will create for our country's future," Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) spokesman Rafiullah Bedar said.

Using children as instruments of war violates Islamic values, Afghan parliamentarian Esmatullah Shinwari said. "Children are not part of war."

Forcing children to commit suicide attacks traduces Islamic teachings and Afghan cultural values, he said, adding that those who commit such a grievous sin will pay a heavy price.

Other children, like Kolsoom, have defied efforts to turn them into weapons.

Last year a Taliban commander from Khanshin District, Helmand Province, tried to force Spogmai, his younger sister, to launch a suicide attack. She turned herself in.

Similarly, last December, Zarmina, a girl from Nawzad District, Helmand Province, defied pressure from her Taliban commander to commit a suicide bombing. She surrendered to authorities rather than become the third suicide bomber among her relatives.

Those two girls now are under the protection of security forces and living in a safe-house, Shayeq said.

Need for strong parents

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) also is concerned about such gross violations of human rights.

The Taliban want the security forces to look ineffectual, MoI spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said. "Using children as an instrument of war is one of the worst actions that the Taliban can do," he said. "Families need to safeguard their children and keep them away from the Taliban."

"Children should avoid areas where they could be possibly used by militant groups for negative objectives," UNICEF spokesman Aziz Frotan said. "In this regard, parents and tribal elders are responsible for taking care of their children."

Villages would benefit from a public awareness campaign educating parents about the impact of using children in war, Nargis Durokhshani, a Helmand Province council member, said.

The government also needs to build facilities for children who have surrendered to security forces, she added.



Jordan Pilot’s Wife Has Not Seen Grisly Video

6 February 2015

The wife of the Jordanian pilot who was burned alive by ISIS in January stated in an interview that she was hopeful he would return until news of his death reached her via Facebook.

Anwar Tarawneh could not believe the news of her husband’s brutal death, she told The Independent in an interview published Thursday.

Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh was in the hands of the militant Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group, after being shot down while flying an F-16 over Syria on Dec. 24.

There were negotiations between the government of Jordan and ISIS to swap the pilot for al-Qaeda would-be suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi.

However, ISIS this week released a video of al-Kasasbeh being burned alive, stating that he was killed on January 3.

His wife, who married the pilot in July, was at a sit-in protest at a university in Amman for her husband when she took a call from her mother and then accessed Facebook only to see the news that her husband had been killed.

“It was only when I opened Facebook on my phone that I saw the post, ‘Rest in peace, Moaz,’” Tarawneh told The Independent.

Tarawneh, who says she has not watched the grisly video, collapsed shortly after hearing the news and was admitted to hospital.

She added that her husband did not feel comfortable flying on the ill-fated day.

“He had hoped there would be fog, so he wouldn’t have to fly,” she said, sitting in her late husband’s ancestral home, near the town of Karak.

She added: “He had the feeling something would go wrong.

“It was strange, he had never said that before.”



Saudi Consulate explains circumstances of scholarship student’s death in US

6 February 2015

LOS ANGELES – The Saudi Consulate General in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday issued a statement explaining the circumstances that led to the death of a 22-year-old scholarship student in the United States after he was waylaid by two unidentified assailants.

Mansour Bin Samaan Al-Hazobarah Al-Yami died nearly two weeks after he was shot by the unknown men who tried to rob him in the western US town of Santa Ana on Jan. 19.

Al-Yami was walking to the house of a friend when he was stopped by the two men, who asked him to hand them his money.

When Al-Yami said he was not carrying any money, the men shot him. The bullet pierced through his liver and lungs, with fragments landing near his spine. He was rushed to the University Hospital in Irvine, where he died on Sunday.

The consulate said the deputy consul visited the student in the hospital to check on his health and extend necessary assistance as soon as the news of the assault was received.

The statement said the consulate had taken seriously a request by the student's family to transfer him to another medical facility despite his critical condition that, according to the doctor's reports, could prevent his transfer. The consulate contacted the Cultural Attaché’s Office in Washington to coordinate with the health insurance company to medevac the student.

The consul general had met with his brothers and explained to them the results of his contacts. He said the decision to transfer him depended on his doctor's report and the coordination with the medical center where they wanted to transfer him.

However, the center’s approval could not be processed until the day Al-Yami died, the consulate said, but added that the facility where the student received treatment was among the best 10 in the US.

The consulate has assigned a lawyer to follow up investigations with the US authorities and arrest the perpetrators. The consulate also offered its condolences to the student's bereaved family.