Between romance and Kalashnikovs: The women of Islamic State

Around 10 percent of all foreigners who join the “Islamic State” are young women or girls. Around 60 female jihadists came from Germany alone. What fate awaits them?

Since mid-January, an Arabic document entitled “Women of Islamic State” has given us some clues. The authors are members of the Khansaa Brigade. This all-female patrol unit arrests women, for example, if their veils aren’t positioned properly, or if the material of their long black robes appears to be too thin.

The gender ideology of the treatise is largely similar to other statements from the Salafist camp – booklets produced in Saudi Arabia and translated into German with the title “Women under the protection of Islam,” for example. In 2010, they were banned in Germany because they propagate violence.