Jihadi Brides and Women Activists

by Taameem Almaliki, Project Nur Coordinator at American Islamic Congress

Reading about Jihadi brides makes me furious. I was reflecting on the trial and murder of a fellow Iraqi citizen and human rights activist, Samira Salih Nuaimi, by ISIS. I came to the conclusion that Samira Salih and the issue of Jihadi Brides is something we must think about during this year’s Eid Aladha! There are still rational people in the Muslim world that strongly stand against radicals, especially in the most dangerous site of ISIS – Mosul city. Who would dare to do that?

When I saw the picture of Samira Salih, who was executed by ISIS for speaking out against them on her Facebook page, I was struck with pain at witnessing a fellow Iraqi citizen executed by extremists; they invaded the land of Mosul and bombed the Prophet Jonah’s shrine. Samira Salih stood up against the extremists and declared that they did not have the right to destroy religious sites that represented the history and heritage of past Iraqi civilizations.

Samira Salih is a powerful example of an Iraqi Sunni who wanted to unite Iraqis. She is an example of a rational individual who does not run blindly behind fanatical people and extremist groups like ISIS.

I have another issue with Jihadi Brides. I have received tons of questions concerning them when I did outreach for Project Nur. Yesterday, I was reading about them and how they travel to countries like Iraq and Syria. These young women and girls grew up in the West and they took for granted the freedom that they have living in the West. I have a few questions for these young women: Do you know you may be sexually assaulted and raped? Do you know that you will be in danger? Each ugly Jihadist monster will marry ten women. Why does a young 16-year-old girl accept to marry a monster and share him with a dozen other naïve, young ladies from around the world?

I am sorry I might seem harsh with my judgment. I know they are just children who were brain washed, but the media places a large emphasis on the issue of Jihadi Brides and the executions of Western journalists that continue to depict Islam as violent and oppresses women. Did anyone condemn the so called Islamic medieval court when they executed Samira Salih, a human rights activist in Iraq? She was a Muslim woman fighting against the radical and extremist elements of Islam.

All I know is that this ISIS Jihadi group should be destroyed. I was happy to learn about a female pilot from the United Arab Emirates who was fighting against them. People, young and old, from southern Iraq are fighting against them. This is why I am confident they will be defeated. In my recent visit to my city in southern Iraq, I saw how young people are defending the country against ISIS. I am so proud of them and I am also proud of the young Muslim and non-Muslim students who are leading the Project Nur campaign, Voices Against Radicalism, against ISIS. I am happy to be part of this campaign as a Muslim woman. I am not a pilot or fighter, but I am a human rights activist from the American Islamic Congress and Project Nur. At least my activism will show that civilians can do something against ISIS even from far away.

I was so happy and excited to see this Project Nur photo for the Voices Against Radicalism Campaign from the George Mason Project Nur chapter. It is a strong message against radicalism and a symbol to practice love and peace. This is a picture of our new campaign – Voices Against Radicalism. This campaign will give me hope for the new generations of young Muslims.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of American Islamic Congress or any employee thereof.