Relationship experts -- known by their professional title of yenta -- often urge desperate women to leave the big city and move to the Midwest, Southwest, or the westiest west state of Alaska. According to Jamie Dettmer of The Daily Beast site, however, it appears that many women have decided to head in the opposite direction:
The self-proclaimed Islamic State, formerly known by the acronym ISIS, is actively recruiting Western women and girls. And in the process this “caliphate” that now occupies large swathes of Syria and Iraq is showing, once again, that it’s almost as shrewd with social media as it is ruthless on the battlefield.
The tweets and blogs apparently are written by Western women married to jihadi warriors. They aim to persuade would-be “sisters” in Europe and the United States to travel to the Middle East to help this al-Qaeda spinoff build its extremist vision of an Islamic society.
Potential caliph-ettes (as one is tempted to call them) are told their main contribution to the Islamic revolution will be through matrimony, not martyrdom; child-bearing, not gun-toting.
Earlier generations of mothers would read that last paragraph and say, "What's not to like?"
And apparently, they wouldn't be alone, for European women and teenage girls really are volunteering to walk down the bombed-out rubble that used to be an aisle with their guerrilla grooms. And I was concerned when my daughter started putting up posters of rappers!
I'm not sure what the appeal here is, unless it means sartorially fitting in with your friends, which is a major concern for girls. And that would be a pretty easy thing to do, when they're all required to wear a burqa, hijab, niqab, and other words that look like they were created by a drunk playing Scrabble.
This 21st-century version of "eloping with the misunderstood bad boy" opens up new opportunities for entrepreneurs. Like a dating site -- Terrorist-Mingle.com comes to mind. As usual with these kinds of things, a guy would have to fill out a Q & A to find the right girl:
How would you describe yourself? Physically fit, with an unerring ability to kill anyone who doesn't think the way I do.
What do you do for fun? Destroy churches. Turn entire towns into human slaughterhouses. Wave at TV cameras from the back of pick-up trucks while shooting machine-guns in the air.
What is your idea of a good first date? Romantic strolls among mangled corpses of non-believers, playing catch with human skulls, and watching the sunset through the ruined remains of historic sites we've just blown up.
What are you looking for in a bride? Only three things: Loyalty, deep spirituality, and the ability to imitate a goat during intimate moments.
Lucky for them, there's no shortage of old-fashioned (as in 7th-century) girls ready to start a family. They even endorse home schooling:
[Jihadi bride] Umm Anwar insists in online exchanges that her role in the Islamic State isn’t just being a housewife. She says she is able to use her education as a medical student and she says, “Women give birth to the mujahideen [warriors] and they are the ones who raise them and teach them.”
Granted, there's a difference between raising a boy to study hard, go to school and get a good job -- and raising one to blow himself up for the cause. But remember, it's not the destination, it's the journey.
No, there's not much difference at all between dating the rebel and marrying the martyr. The most famous exchange from Marlon Brando's The Wild One still rings true on the streets of the Islamic State:
"Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?"
Compared to what these girls are in for, Johnny's starting to look like a pretty good catch.