Gender bias: ‘A woman is a jihadist like any other’

“…There has always been this gender bias in jihadism. Well, a woman can be “a jihadist like any other” in the sense that she adheres to the basic tenets of this ideology. Nothing differentiates them in their primary convictions, but this doctrine is based on the complementarity of the sexes. They do not do jihad in the same way. In everyday language, we tend to diminish the woman’s role. She is always seen as a victim, as an essentially passive entity, except sometimes in the realm of parenting. A woman’s engagement [in jihad] is explained by manipulation and not by conviction. We don’t view the women as having the same dangerous potential as their men — especially the ones who are waiting to return — because they have not been involved in a combat role. Yet they have the same convictions. They don’t need to hold a Kalashnikov to be dangerous.”

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