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  • Geopolitics. Western women in jihad - Moyen-Orient
    2005 Lahoud 2014 Osama Bin Laden himself was quite elusive women s role is enthusiastically promoted in the 1996 fatwa Declaration of War against the infidel against the Americans occupying the Land of the two Holy Places but women were mentioned only once and only as victims of the enemies of Islam in his 1998 fatwa which became the theoretical reference for global Jihad Jihad against Jews and Crusaders World Islamic Front Von knop 2007 Becoming an Al Qaeda member has always been a difficult process because of the elitist nature of the group something in which ISIS differs significantly today To our knowledge no woman was ever granted this status Gonzalez Perez 2010 Other ideologues like Dr Fadl alias Abd al Qadir ibn Abd al Aziz plead for women to receive a basic military training but only to be used in the limited framework of self defense if their own houses are attacked Apart from these specific circumstances Fadl reasserts the classical interpretation that the real Jihad for women is to perform the Hajj the pilgrimage the argument traditionally opposed to women participation in combat Cook 2005 According to the Al Khansaa manifesto today s ISIS doctrine on women fighting is situated roughly at this level Women may go out to serve the community in a number of situations the most important being 1 Jihad by appointment if the enemy is attacking her country and the men are not enough to protect it and the imams give a fatwa for it as the blessed women of Iraq and Chechnya did with great sadness The tone is clear only a desperate situation may legitimize women taking up arms such last resort option is synonym of great sadness Others ideologues and leaders like Muhammar Khayr Haykal Nawaf al Takruri or Abu Musab al Zarqawi went further Haykal for example opened the way for women to be enrolled in the regular army of an Islamic state Cook 2005 Al Zarqawi provocatively called for women to wage the war against the enemy of Islam since the men seem to lack the manhood for it Lahoud 2014 Al Takruri focused more on the suicide bombing issue He cites six fatwas allowing women to participate in such operations one from the famous Egyptian cleric Yusuf al Qaradawi three from al Azhar university scholars one from the Dublin based Faysal al Mawlawi and one from a Palestinian scholar Nizar Abd al Qadir Riyyan Interestingly these fatwas are associated with clerics originated from the most progressive parts of the Muslims world namely Palestine or Egypt Cook 2005 Von Knop 2007 Lahoud 2014 More conservative areas like Jordan Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan are not represented At contrario in theaters like Chechnya and more generally the Caucasus where women were particularly active in fighting and performing suicide attacks only quite conservative theoretical works on the subject were produced Cook 2005 Al Zarqawi s position is demonstrative of a pragmatic use of women fighters by male leaders to incite more male to enroll by pride There again the tactic is not limited to jihadist movements and has been used in different contexts like the Sri Lanka civil war in which the LTTE black tiger women were responsible for a third of the group s suicide attacks Van Knop 2007 Like the Iraqi context shows the lack of male candidates for operating suicide attacks can lead groups to rely on women Al Qaeda in Iraq carried out 15 women led suicide attacks between 2005 and 2007 30 in 2008 alone at the civil war s peak Site 2009 Sassine 2015 Today the flow of candidates willing to become Shaheed under ISIS banner seems to have closed the possibility for women to carry out such attacks However the shaming tactic is now massively used by the group to increase the number of Muslim travelling to Iraq and Syria by reporting the case of feeble old or pregnant women performing this Hijra successfully The last but not the least of the narrative s contradictions regarding women involvement in Jihad are the examples of female figures which illustrate the discourse Many of them are Coranic figures including wives of the prophet like Khadija or Aisha bint Abou Bakr depicted as women superior in virtue and wisdom regularly consulted by men on religious matters and consequently far from being passive actors relegated to the strictly private sphere Classical examples of women fighting in the Jihad are quoted and have become omnipresent in the social network conversations Aisha herself is told to have been leading the battle of the Camel while the prophet granddaughter Zaynab fought in the battle of Kerbala Von knop 2007 As to his aunt Saffiya bint Abd Al Mutalib she is praised as the ideal muslima in the jihadosphere for having cut the head of a Jew in the battle of Khandaq 627 during the siege of Medina Cook 2005 Von Knop 2007 Another woman Nusayba bint Kab fought with four other women during the battle of Uhud 626 one of Muhammad s worst defeat She received many wounds by moving herself in front of the prophet whose life was directly threatened Cook 2005 Von knop 2007 Zakaria 2015 Tumadir Bint Amr alias Al Khansaa who gave her name to both an Al Qaeda female magazine and an ISIS female brigade is emphasized as the ideal figure of the Muslim widow But at the same time she was a very free minded woman who refused a marriage proposal got married to another man she disliked and got divorced One of her sons even fought against the Caliph Abou Bakr during the battle of Aqaba in 633 Oseni 2010 Finally Aafia Siddiqui herself even if not a classical figure is worth mentioning She used to be described in the press as the most wanted woman in the world or Lady Al Qaeda and has become extremely popular in the Muslim world embodying the figure of the heroic fighting women Nevertheless her first husband constantly accused her of not taking good care of their children She stood up to a prominent Pakistani mufti on the question of Jihad she got divorced to remarry with a nephew of Khaled Sheik Mohammed the planner of the 9 11 attacks and finally became the leader of the female wing of a Pakistani militia Jaisch Muhammed Daniel 2014 Kakaria 2015 How paradoxical is the jihadist discourse on the one hand it makes into heroes and legitimizes these free minded one could said liberated women who always refused to live under the domination of men with some of them being highly educated Siddiqui was a neuroscientist some being poor housewives and others being active and efficient fighters holding responsibilities in organizations On the other hand it offers a far different much more traditional model of living for its common female supporters The Al Khansaa manifesto advances much less controversial figure as ISIS ideal model for Muslim Women namely Assia the wife of Pharaoh and Mariam daughter of Imran Mary in the Christian tradition Both are praised for their devotion and chastity far from the figure of the Islamic Amazon ISIS seems less than ever inclined to promote In the last of the Surat al Tahrim related from God the Almighty in which is given examples of the two believers Asia and Mariam two ideal women the two qualities most celebrated were religion and chastity And the example of Mariam the daughter of Imran who guarded her chastity so We blew into her garments through Our Angel and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient Quran 66 12 I 3 Case study Inspire and Dabiq magazines An interesting and concrete manifestation of the limited access to the public sphere granted to women by the current two most prominent jihadist groups lies in their official online magazines This is all the more interesting that these media are dedicated to the Western audience of these groups which can reasonably be considered as the most open minded Inspire is an AQAP magazine published since the summer of 2010 12 issues have been diffused the last one dating from the summer of 2014 Dabiq is the ISIS version 8 of them have been issued more or less on a monthly basis since July 2014 While the first combines news of the war against America and its allies and practical advices to commit terrorist attacks in the West the second focus more on the achievements of the so called Caliphate Inspire is highly visual with an important number of pictures but none of them represent women even veiled Inspire n 1 includes an article dealing with women affairs namely the war on Niqab waged by Western countries Then women related topics disappear completely until Inspire n 6 with an ode to the prisoners of Guantanamo written by an Umm Rashasha Marriage is evocated in Inspire n 8 quite ambiguously since the author emphasizes the practical difficulties it could impose to the Mujaheed A certain Umm Ahmed writes an article on Anwar al Awlaki in Inspire n 9 Inspire n 10 inaugurates a sister corner with a very interesting poem entitled if only I was a Mujaheed It lists all the glorious tasks reserved for man such as carrying a rocket launcher and taking part into battle the author would be glad to perform It ends with the following sentence but this cannot be for a lion hearted Mujaheed warrior I m not in fact I am a fragile woman The poem is very much telling of the frustration experienced by some women regarding the gender based separated role they are assigned and at the same time its interiorization perhaps the manifestation of the author pragmatism another tone would probably have been vetoed Finally Inspire n 12 provides another article by a certain Umm Yahya glorifying in a much less revolutionary way the role of the Mujaheedah as wife of the Mujaheed above all Al Qaeda program for women is summarized counter propaganda diffusion of the true Islam children rising and moral support of the husband Interestingly men are depicted as weaker and as more prone to demoralization in case of defeat than women The latter role of reinforcing her husband s faith especially in period of doubt is consequently made crucial The analysis of the Dabiq does not tell a different story Out of the 8 numbers already published women are totally absent from number 1 2 and 5 They are slightly evocated in number 3 6 and 7 as victims of the war on Islam Number n 4 October 2014 is the first to dedicate an article to them and quite ironically its purpose is to justify through Islam the right to enslave non Muslim women considered as common Ghanima spoil of war Dabiq n 7 February 2015 is the first one to give voice to a woman in the person of Hayat Boumedienne the French widow of one of those responsible for the Paris attacks in January 2015 The article itself in addition to the recurrent call for Hijra provides a traditional view on the role of women in the Caliphate to be a moral support for the Mujahedeen Dabiq n 8 March 2015 is the first to be redacted by a women Umm Sumayyah al Muhajirah in which she also insists on the mandatory nature of Hijra and provides examples of old or pregnant women who performed it with a tone aiming at shaming reluctant Muslims Finally and perhaps more strikingly than with Inspire not a single women is present on the magazine pictures including on those depicting public scenes of everyday life in the town and villages liberated by ISIS and scenes of attacks claimed by ISIS in Western countries where the presence of Women at least in the background is most likely By comparison men are represented about 430 times This is telling of ISIS obsession with women being completely driven away from the public area to an extent close to denial ISIS two female brigades Al Khansaa and Umm Al Rayan are never mentioned which is indicative of ISIS reluctance to promote too openly these initiatives Such a minimization of women s active involvement in the general struggle for the advent of the Caliphate let alone in the fighting is demonstrative of today s ISIS being much more conservative on the subject than its founding father Abu Musab Al Zarqawi The role of women within ISIS ranks is most certainly a step below what it used to be in the 2005 2008 period Let us conclude this first part on discourse analysis by wondering why such a resistance from the jihadist leaders to the involvement of women in most aspect of the Jihad including the violent ones Pragmatically speaking such an involvement is not without tactical interest Based on the universal representation of war being men s business women are less suspect of carrying attacks They are consequently less likely to be monitored by intelligence services or to be searched by the security services especially in conservative Muslim countries where men cannot inspect a veiled woman that easily Lahoud 2014 The very same representation offers an additional publicity to women led attacks something jihadist groups are very much looking for The terror effect of such attacks is most likely enhanced compared with the similar operations being carried on by men Von Knopp 2007 Gonzalez Perez 2010 Bloom 2011 But jihadist groups are probably also aware of possible negative side effects Theological issues may arise including the question of reward for the Shaheeda the female Shaheed indeed what about the Houris the virgins offered in paradise to their male counterparts The issue was closed quite abruptly by Al Takruri and also by Hamas leaders not surprisingly women are deprived from these Houris Cook 2005 but then an endless debate is opened on the equality among Shaheed The cultural aspect must also be taken into account jihadist leaders may be afraid to go against the cultural norms that cement the societies where they are evolving deeply patriarchal and conservative in most cases Indeed the promotion of non socially endorsed norms like women fighters may erode the support of the population vital in the context of asymmetric warfare conducted by most of these groups Even for ISIS which has transformed into something closer to a proto state the matter remains sensitive The alleged tensions between the group s foreign and local fighters regarding possible discriminatory treatments are very representative of the threat Yet the cultural argument should not be given an essentialized strength Indeed jihadist groups have not hesitated in the past to overcome deeply rooted cultural features like parental consent by allowing young people to join Jihad without the approval of their parents Lahoud 2014 Knowing its importance in many Muslim societies one could wonder if jihadist ideologues may not in the future cross the Rubicon of women fighting Nelly Lahoud offers a last explanation based on the possible fear by these leaders of the potential for sexual revolution that allowing women to take part into fight may bring about with potentially serious consequences on these leaders own control over the movements largely based on gender inequalities To be sure Lahoud s argument does not lack credibility especially with ISIS which must now absorb hundreds of Western educated women many of them showing enthusiasm in taking an active part into the consolidation of the Caliphate II Beyond the discourse Women involvement in Jihad As previously noted Jihad ideology is based on a highly conservative social vision structured by gender inequality with women being confined as much as possible within the private sphere Jihadist discourse is one of men delivered by men and mainly for men But the reality of the women involvement on the jihadist ground demonstrates the limits of such a conservative narrative As already mentioned women have been fighting within jihadist groups especially but not only by performing suicide attacks Examples of such total involvement can be traced back at least to the Algerian civil war in the 1990s It is nevertheless true that the phenomenon remained relatively rare and more or less on an individual basis until recently With the Syrian revolution progressively evolving into a total civil war a novel pattern of massive women convergence to a land of Jihad has emerged Women originated from Western countries are probably the tip of the iceberg in that process but thanks to the extensive online material they provide willingly they represent the most accessible population for academic work on the phenomenon The following pages first offer a brief historical perspective of women s involvement in the 1990s and 2000s Second some element of answers will be provided regarding the motivations for Western women to engage in the Jihad in Syria and to a much lesser extent in Iraq since 2012 2013 The impact of these women on the ground notably with the recent creation of ISIS female brigades will finally be evaluated It is a large and relatively untouched academic field Much more will remain to be done especially on women originated from the Arab World and beyond should they be Syrian Iraqi or immigrants II 1 Historical perspective The last two decades of Jihad struggles have seen women being part of the fight During the Algerian Civil war the Islamic Salvation Front and then the Groupes Islamiques Armés created female brigades that progressively shifted from logistical missions to direct armed operations In the region of Medea for instance these brigades took part in mass slaughtering Ghanem Yazbeck 2014 Women were involved in suicide attacks in Palestine as early as 2002 even if mostly under the banner of nationalist groups like Al Fatah in Ouzbekistan starting in 2004 with a 19 years old women detonating her suicide vest killing 47 people on a market in Tachkent in Chechnya in Jordan in Pakistan in Afghanistan and in Iraq where the first women led terrorist attack 2 was carried out in 2005 in Talafa Von knop 2007 Site 2009 Herman 2010 Gonzalez Perez 2010 In Egypt two women opened fire on a tourist bus in 2005 with the responsibility of the attack being claimed by an Al Qaeda affiliated group the Abdallah Azzam brigades Von Knop 2007 Many more followed notably in Iraq where women were also involved in recruitment and training networks Site 2009 The first Western originated woman involved in a jihadist violent action was Muriel Degauque a Belgian convert who carried out a vehicular suicide attack in Baqouba Iraq in November 2006 claimed by Al Qaeda in Iraq Von Knop 2007 Guidere 2010 Other failed in their attempts like US originated Collen LaRose alias jihadi Jane who was arrested in 2009 for her alleged participation in a plot to kill the Dutch Caricaturist Lars Vilks Guidere 2010 or Roshonara Choudhry a British female citizen originated from Bangladesh who stabbed a British member of Parliament in 2010 only wounding him and claimed having been motivated by Anwar Al Awlaki speeches in Inspire Lahoud 2014 Finally Western women were involved in jihadist logistical and training networks This was the case for Collen LaRose Robyn Huntchinson an Australian women converted to Islam who got married to the leader of an Indonesian jihadist group and opened a hospital for women in Afghanistan or Malika al Aroud the Belgian wife of one of the Commandant Massoud s assassins Guidere 2010 Thomson 2014 Most jihadist leaders demonstrated embarrassment especially regarding women led suicide bombing A fatwa published in the immediate aftermath of a Chechen women suicide attack in 2000 made no mention of women participation in Jihad and the spiritual leader of Hamas disagreed in 2002 with this kind of operation Cook 2005 Hernan 2010 At most the operations are blessed with hindsight and women are not admitted as strictly speaking members of the groups which claim responsibility for the attacks Gonzalez Perez 2010 Lahoud 2014 II 2 The Syria Iraq conflict a game changer It is very difficult to quantitatively assess the importance of women s direct involvement in this preliminary phase perhaps with the exception of Iraq where the number of suicide led attacks by women is relatively well known At least regarding Western women involvement it can be said that the phenomenon remained limited to a few individuals who consequently gained a noticeable media visibility The Syrian conflict which started in 2011 as a pacific upsurge against the Bashar al Assad authoritarian regime and turned progressively into a bloody civil war was a game changer In 2012 with the growing importance of radical Islamist groups like JAN and the subsequently growing sectarianization of a conflict emphasized as a Jihad by an increasing number of actors within the insurrection the flow of foreign fighters converging to Syria began to soar The pace accelerated tremendously with ISIS open presence in Syria since 2013 and its affirmation as the most powerful opposition group by mid 2014 when its forces considerably expanded the territory under control in Syria and Iraq The movement reached a peak in July 2014 when its leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi proclaimed the re establishment of the Caliphate with himself as the new Caliph In January 2015 the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence ICSRP estimated at 20 000 the number of foreign fighters that had joined Sunni militant organizations in the Syria Iraq conflict The number may be much higher regarding official declarations including one by the French Premier on March 19th 2015 revealing that about half of the French candidates to Jihad make their way to Syria or Iraq completely under the scope of the authorities radar Le Monde march 19th 2015 The Westerners accounted for about 4 000 in the ICSRP survey Among them is a significant number of women who may represent between 10 and 15 of the total The Telegraph 2014 Thomson 2014 Because most Western countries do not communicate precisely on the phenomenon only fragmented data are available and are summarized in figure 2 These figures are definitely far from the reality and are only indicative of the cases 100 identified and published in the media with two noticeable exceptions France where in depth statistics have been recently published and the United Kingdom where the press follows attentively the phenomenon In France the proportion of women jihadist is considerably higher than the Western average According to November 2014 statistics provided by the Ministry of the Interior 35 of the profiles identified as radicalized are women and they account for 28 119 out of 413 of the identified departures to Syria Iraq Le Monde November 11th 2014 and March 26th 2015 If assessed 3 the singularity of the French case will have to be explained Intuitively the strongly promoted French model of secularism embodied in recent legislation forbidding the wearing of Niqab in public areas and of any veil in the administration or in schools might play a role Table 1 Western women departure in Syria Iraq Compiled sources The absence of profile If the number of Western women involved in jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq remains unclear with the figure of 550 regularly evocated in the past months the same can be said of these women s profiles When one attempts to dress such a profile very few common patterns emerge It can only be said that under 25 years old women are over represented including a significant part of minors and that most of them turned into a radical practice of Islam only shortly before their departure a few months sometimes a few weeks Bouzar and Thomson 2014 Thomson 2014 Van San 2015 Several studies on the European jihadist profile from the years 2001 2006 showed clear common denominators like the over representation of popular classes of people originated from North Africa with many of them having a criminal record Van San 2015 4 Such a picture does not fit with women nowadays leaving for Syria and Iraq According to a 2014 report from a French association 5 specialized in deradicalization programs only 40 of the 325 cases studied had grandparents of foreign origins Popular classes seem under represented only 30 of the total CPDSI 2014 The survey was accused of bias because based on voluntary calls from concerned families as the association was closely related with the authorities mostly middle and upper class families might have felt confident enough to call Thomson and Bouzar 2014 But other journalistic and academic works also emphasized the significant share of converts outside the population of Muslim culture among the women who left Europe Kern 2014 Van San 2015 It seems that the proportion of convert is higher among women than men In contradiction with previous profiling attempts an overwhelmingly share of these women had never experienced judiciary problems On the contrary many of them like Aqsa Mahmood a 20 years old student in medicine from Glasgow who is now a top member in the ISIS Al Khansaa female brigade were well integrated in Western society with a shining future ahead of them Kern 2014 Sherwood and al 2014 II 3 Interiorization or contestation of the discourse The online material provided by these women demonstrates two diverging patterns On the one hand many aspects in the discourse and the visual contents show a level of interiorization of the jihadist narrative regarding women s role in the Islamic society On the other hand many elements indicate a desire for some of them to go beyond the assigned functions and a frustration regarding the obstacles to a more active violent involvement The contradiction is blatant and synonym of potential instability within this emerging perfect society This may explain ISIS initiatives to channel this enthusiasm into tolerated and controlled form of active militancy such as recruiting sergeants Hoyle and al 2015 or vice squads members like the Al Khansaa brigade in the Syrian town of Raqqa Why becoming a female jihadist The motivations to join the Jihad can be summarized along three main axes The first axis is the commitment toward an ideological and religious duty The second is the research for belonging to a group The desire to give a sense to their existence may be consider the third axis Sassine 2015 Taub 2015 These are notably the same incentives as for their male relatives but the concretization differs Female supporters of groups like ISIS or JAN demonstrate a strong adhesion to the official discourse that migrating to the holy land of Cham is a religious duty Only those who faced the perils of the Hijra similar to what the prophet and his followers endured when they were expelled from Mecca and traveled to Medina in 622 are true Muslims In the jihadist ideology the land of Cham bears a significant importance it is the place for resurrection at the judgment day the place of the final battle a land of knowledge faith and truth Ansar al Haqq Thomson 2014 Lacroix 2015 Moreover at a time when Muslims are being oppressed on a global scale by a total war against Islam it is a political duty to resist With Syria and Iraq considered lands of Islam under attack women like men must converge and take part in the struggle to repel the aggressors This narrative of Muslim defensive actions against multiple enemies is omnipresent in women conversations and posts online At contrario life in Western countries or bilad al Kufr land of the unbelievers is rejected as places where women are constantly humiliated by anti religious laws such as the interdiction of wearing the Niqab Western democracy is rejected as a moral disaster with symbols like gay marriage or the caricatures of the prophet systematically pointed out Thomson 2014 Examples of the general violence against Muslim women are continuously posted in a totally indiscriminate fashion Genocide against the Rohingyas in Burma and the Muslim populations in the Centrafrican Republic the gazing of civilian populations by Alawis in Syria the assassination of three US Muslim students in Chapel Hill North Carolina in February 2015 or the racist tagging of French mosque and the harassment of veiled women in the streets of Western countries are looked through the same lens Consequently only by migrating to the true land of Islam and by enjoying there the protection of righteous believers namely the Caliphate soldiers can the Muslim women live plainly in accordance with their religion In a complete reversal of values emigration is emphasized as the true women liberation The reasoning is a frontal attack on strongly rooted representations that women are nowhere enjoying more rights and freedom than in Western societies While obviously true some very specific situations may lead to the need for a bit of nuance in Norway the over representation of girls from the Somali immigrant community in the ranks of candidates for Jihad may find an explanation in the highly conservative nature of this very inward looking community Some women may then really be experiencing the departure as liberation for in Cham they may at least be able to choose their husband Ranstorp 2014 This quite paradoxical perspective must be kept in mind for future works addressing the question of women from the Arab gulf for instance An intuitive hypothesis would be that Saudi women may also be attracted by migrating where they might enjoy more freedom Only by comparing the share of women within these countries contingents with the share of their counterpart in the West may provide answers Lastly the perspective of death is regularly mentioned and looked upon positively because the life in the aftermath al Akhira is regarded as much more invaluable than the physical life al Dunya Knobel 2014 Van San 2015 Dying in such a holy place is then synonym with an almost guaranteed entry into paradise for both oneself and members of one s family This last aspect is often opposed by today jihadist women in Syria to the call for return made by their relatives in Western countries The second axis is the search for group belonging In the context of social atomization and rising individualism often pointed out in Western societies the jihadist narrative offers the feeling of belonging to the universal community of the Islamic Ummah The argument is attractive because it has real and immediate manifestations In the tremendous majority of cases the first step in the radicalization process takes place online Carvalho 2014 Bouzar and Thomson 2014 Thomson 2014 through the integration of the virtual jihadist community In a relative respect with the principle of not mixing between genders women enter virtual sisterhoods that suddenly provide relatives highly ritualized daily activities and a ready to use narrative which offers simple answers to so many existential questions Carvalho 2014 It offers the exciting feeling of belonging to an elite of true believers in an ocean of silliness and cowardice It offers a new identity with all the women taking a virtual name known as kunya war name in addition to a new language or at least a new vocabulary since many of the women are not Arabic speakers but demonstrate a certain appetite for learning and immediately use generic terms like Ukhtys sisters Finally many stories indicate that this virtual socialization along jihadist lines led to close relations between individuals which is determinant in the self motivation process In several cases online Ukhtys who barely or even never met before join and undertake the Hijra journey together Thomson 2014 Finally the will to be part of something bigger historical and meaningful seems a strong incentive for these women s radicalization The recent establishment of the Caliphate by ISIS has considerably strengthened the appeal Often describing their earlier existence as boring and meaningless women joining jihadist organizations express a great enthusiasm based on the search for adventure and thrills and or the will to help endangered Muslim populations Knobel 2014 To put down a political order experienced as the symbol of Western domination on Islam and to help securing this new successful and yet threatened experience of the Caliphate is a deeply attractive project for would be jihadist male or female Women s vision of the war in Iraq and Syria is heavily romanticized often but not totally minimizing the worst aspects while revering jihadist warriors like pop stars Hoyle and al 2015 Diehl and al 2015 Marriage is not the least idealized aspect of this new meaningful existence The future husband because a jihadist fighter is meant to be the perfect brave and loving companion with the metaphoric imagery of the lion and the lioness being omnipresent There lies perhaps the greatest success in the jihadist effort to have their discourse interiorized by women Contestation of the necessity to get married as soon as possible after if possible even before through online procedure arriving in Syria or Iraq is never expressed openly by women even by those most interested in taking up arms Thomson 2014 The interest is at least double for a group like ISIS it enhances the attractiveness of Jihad for male fighters who can reasonably expect to be able to found a family before being Shaheed and it acts as an effective way of controlling potentially too free minded educated Western women A will to go beyond the assigned role But the reality may be more complex There are several indicators that the traditional vision of the women role in Jihad promoted by ISIS leaders and their predecessors spreads only partially within today Western female candidates to Jihad in Syria and Iraq The frustration toward a too narrowed role granted by jihadist leader is not new Al Zawahiri s position of refusing any woman as Al Qaeda members was met with strong disappointment among some female circles sometimes publicly stated Lahoud 2014 We have already seen how certain articles from Inspire magazine illustrate such a frustration At least two contradictions in the women discourse are observable in the Syria Iraq context First is the fact that these women only superficially integrate the local society ISIS jihadist women remain most of the time with each other and their mixing with the Syrian and to a larger extent Iraqi societies remains minimal 6 Very few examples of wedding between Western female migrants and local ISIS fighters have been observed the large majority of it being between Westerners themselves L Orient le Jour 2014 Stoter 2014 Hoyle and al 2015 The language barrier is often pointed out by women to explain why there are so few links But other reports pointed to the cold welcome provided by locals to these new incomers in a context of growing resentment toward ISIS consequence of the enforcement of a very conservative lecture of Sharia as well as tensions between local and foreign fighters Leigh 2014 Sly 2015 Another explanation may be that the cultural gap is simply too large for being easily crossed Western ISIS women remained first and foremost Western women raised in the West and who will not give up all their habits nor their cultural references nor quite paradoxically a certain chauvinism as shown by the common choice of a particle in the kunya indicative of the country of origin Al Hollandia Al Faransia The importance given in these women s discourse to the possibility to live in Cham almost like in the West may prove another indicator beyond the strict propaganda interest for ISIS to demonstrate a kind of normality in the new established Islamic State The second and most important contradiction is the deep attraction for violent actions demonstrated by some of these women There again women being sweet and pacific figures condemned to a role of victim of the men s war remains a stereotyped vision present both in Western representations and in the jihadist discourse Terrorist actions by the groups including the most barbaric ones like the killing of little girls by Mohammed Merah in 2012 in

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  • of International Affairs de l IEP de Paris J ai travaillé comme analyste traitant sur la zone Afrique du Nord Moyen Orient MENA au sein du ministère de la défense Mes sujets de recherche portent principalement sur les enjeux de sécurité et de développement au Proche et au Moyen Orient Contact simon1 bonnet gmail com Parcours scolaire et diplômes 2013 2015 Étudiant à l IEP de Paris Master of International Security options Middle East Studies et Environnement 2012 2013 Maitrise de géopolitique de l Institut Français de Géopolitique IFG Université Paris VIII Mention très bien Major de promotion 2011 2013 Licence d histoire de l université Toulouse II le Mirail mention bien 2009 2012 Diplôme d ingénieur de l ENSIACET spécialisation environnement et traitement de l eau dont septembre 2011 janvier 2012 semestre d étude en échange à l université de Calgary Canada Travaux et publications BONNET Simon HAJZMANOVA Ivana ROBERT Julie ROSSETTI Marie 2014 Eau et Economie verte en France frein et solution rapport d étude commandité par l Académie de l Eau et le Partenariat français pour l eau HOUDRET Annabelle BONNET Simon 2013 Public private partnerships in irrigation management socioeconomic political and environmental concerns article présenté à la conférence générale de l European consortium for political research Bordeaux 2013 BONNET Simon 2013 Le sauvetage du verger El Guerdane enjeux géopolitiques d un projet d irrigation dans le sud du Maroc mémoire de maitrise en géopolitique Ses articles pour Diploweb com Western women in jihad triumph of conservatism or export of sexual revolution ACCORDING to a recent study from the Cease Fire Center For The Human Rights a NGO supported by the European Union more than 14000 women have Direction Directeur P Verluise Conseil scientifique Charte du site Faire un don Devenir membre Auteurs Proposer un article Synergies

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  • Géopolitique de l'Afrique. Que nous apprend la crise en RCA (...) - Afrique
    nouveaux accords Ceux ci sont très contraignants pour le pouvoir 2 Le gouvernement de transition prescrit doit être dirigé par un Premier Ministre issue de l opposition que le président ne peut révoquer le ministère de défense est attribué à la Seleka Il est aussi recommandé le retrait du territoire centrafricain de toutes les forces étrangères à l exception de celles de la MICOPAX Cette disposition vise surtout le départ des 400 soldats sud africains venus porter secours au pouvoir A peine parti de Libreville François Bozizé est accusé par la Seleka de torpiller l application des accords Aussi la Seleka qui n avait jamais rangé les armes déclenche t elle une cascade de conquêtes militaires qui se solde le 24 mars 2013 malgré la présence de la MICOPAX par sa prise du pouvoir E L AAPS plombée par un manque de volonté politique et une faible capacité d analyse et de réaction opérationnelle 1 De la violation des principes et des objectifs du l UA L UA condamne la prise anticonstitutionnelle du pouvoir Les principes et les objectifs du CPS sont sans équivoque sur cette position Et pourtant que ce soit après le coup d Etat de François Bozizé contre Ange Felix Patassé en mars 2003 ou après celui de Michel Djiotodia contre lui de mars 2013 l UA à travers la CEMAC puis la CEEAC s est accommodée avec une facilité surprenante de la nouvelle donne politique Alors que lui et ses alliés armés avaient défié la FOMUC lors de leur prise de Bangui en mars 2003 François Bozizé est reconnu en violation des principes et objectifs de l UA par la CEMAC la CEEAC et le CPS A son tour après sa prise de pouvoir en mars 2013 et après s être rapidement fait adoubé par un Conseil National de Transition taillé sur mesure Michel Djiotodia est reconnu par le sommet extraordinaire de la CEEAC sur la Centrafrique du 18 avril 2013 La récurrence de ces reconnaissances successives dévoile l incapacité du CPS à faire respecter les principes et les objectifs démocratiques sur lesquels l UA fonde la Renaissance Africaine et la relance économique du continent Ce sommet adopte la Déclaration de N Djamena 3 et fixe à dix huit mois le délai de la transition et recommandait une réévaluation des effectifs et du mandat de la MICOPAX Il recommande aussi la mise en place d un Groupe International de Contact sur la RCA GIC RCA composé du Gouvernement centrafricain des représentants de la CEEAC de l UA de l ONU de l UE et de l Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie OIF Lors de sa première réunion au Congo le GIC RCA adopte l Appel de Brazzaville 4 Puis en application des recommandations de la Déclaration de N Djamena les experts de la CEEAC proposent un accroissement des effectifs de la MICOPAX de 500 soldats à 6 500 hommes ainsi qu un réaménagement de leur mandat Une mission militaire d évaluation dirigée par l UA et comprenant les représentants de la CEEAC de l ONU et de l OIF a séjourné en RCA du 2 au 7 mai 2013 elle produit un rapport général catastrophique et recommande comme d ailleurs le GIC RCA un réaménagement du mandat de la MICOPAX Sur la base des rapports du GCI RCA et de la mission militaire puis de l appel lancé par le secrétaire général de l ONU le 16 avril 2013 et qui pressait la CEEAC et l UA à prendre immédiatement et en urgence des mesures fortes pour conjurer l effondrement total de l Etat en Centrafrique la CEEAC propose la mise en place pour un mandat de vingt mois de la MICOPAX2 forte de 2 000 hommes 2 La tardive entrée en scène du CPS Avec une réelle volonté politique et une meilleure capacité d analyse dès le coup d Etat de François Bozizé contre Félix Patassé dont la FOMUC était en charge de la sécurité ou à partir des défaillances de la CEEAC et de la MICOPAX le CPS aurait pu constater que le levier CERs de l AAPS n était pas assez robuste pour une gestion efficace de la crise centrafricaine Il s est certes appuyé sur le principe de la subsidiarité autour duquel est articulé l AAPS mais il n a pas mis en œuvre et à temps celui de la suppléance En prenant à temps acte des insuffisances de la CEMAC puis de la CEEAC en matière de prévention d imposition de la paix et de sortie de crise le CPS aurait dû activer le principe de suppléance qui évite à l échelon supérieur de se déresponsabiliser totalement même pour un instant Cette démarche s imposait d autant plus que depuis 2003 pratiquement tous les observateurs mettaient en garde contre l embrasement de la situation Il a fallu attendre l appel du secrétaire général de l ONU suite à une situation devenue explosive pour que lors de sa 385ème réunion du 19 juillet 2013 5 le CPS se saisisse du cas centrafricain C est en effet à cette date qu il a décidé du déploiement dans le pays pour six mois d une nouvelle mission la Mission Internationale de Soutien à la Centrafrique MISCA composée de 3 652 hommes soit 2 475 militaires 1 025 policiers gendarmes et 152 civils Pratiquement les mêmes missions que celles confiées précédemment à la FOMUC puis à la FOMUC4 et à la MICOPAX lui sont alors assignées 3 Le risque de génocide et la reprise en main de la communauté internationale Malgré sa tardive prise de position à cause des traditionnels problèmes logistiques et de planification que visait pourtant à corriger l AAPS le CPS s est montré incapable de projeter la MISCA sur le terrain des opérations par elle même Confrontée à une situation qui continuait de se dégrader dangereusement le 5 décembre 2013 le Conseil de Sécurité de l ONU a contre l esprit même de la réforme du chapitre VIII de sa charte

    Original URL path: http://www.diploweb.com/RCA-Crises-et-guerres-civiles.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Asie Chine Inde Zone asiatique Afrique M O Afrique Moyen Orient Monde Livres géopolitiques Transversaux Compil Diploweb Audiovisuel Audio Photo Vidéo Accueil Alain FOGUE TEDOM Maître de Conférences professeur en Relations Internationales et Stratégiques option Défense Ses articles pour Diploweb com RCA Crises et guerres civiles La recherche de solutions africaines aux multiples conflits qui déchirent le continent est encore loin de porter les résultats à la hauteur des UA et crise libyenne Géopolitique de l Afrique La création de l Union Africaine a suscité de nombreux espoirs sur le devenir de l Afrique et son projet de renaissance AFRICOM Le commandement militaire américain pour l Afrique Géopolitique de l Afrique Alain Fogue Tedom analyse la genèse les missions les objectifs et les principes du commandement militaire américain Direction Directeur P Verluise Conseil scientifique Charte du site Faire un don Devenir membre Auteurs Proposer un article Synergies Présenter le site Conférences Partenaires Participer Proposer une synergie Liens conseillés Archives Retrouvez la chaîne Diploweb sur Union européenne États membres Institutions Pays candidats Russie CEI Russie CEI Amérique Amérique du Nord Amérique centrale Amérique du Sud Asie Chine Inde Zone asiatique Afrique M O Afrique Moyen Orient Monde Livres géopolitiques Transversaux Compil

    Original URL path: http://www.diploweb.com/_Alain-FOGUE-TEDOM_.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Esquisse géopolitique du canal de Suez et de la mer Rouge - Afrique
    une nouvelle portion de canal sur 35 kilomètres et d élargir le chenal dans le canal existant sur une autre portion de 37 km Ainsi au début du mois d août 2014 le président égyptien Abdel Fattah al Sissi a annoncé le projet de construction d un second canal en parallèle du premier Toutefois à la lecture du projet il ne s agit pas exactement d un second canal Comme le fait remarquer Séverine Evanno dans un article publié sur le sujet dans la revue en ligne Orient XXI 4 il s agira de creuser une nouvelle portion de canal sur 35 kilomètres et d élargir le chenal dans le canal existant sur une autre portion de 37 km Ces travaux doivent permettre de réduire de 8 heures le temps d attente des deux convois quotidiens transitant dans la direction nord sud southbound actuellement contraints de jeter l ancre pour laisser passer le seul convoi northbound quotidien L élargissement du chenal permettra à deux Suezmax 1 de se croiser Le percement de 6 tunnels 4 routiers et 2 ferroviaires à différentes hauteurs du canal est également prévu La durée de franchissement moyenne passera quant à elle de vingt à onze heures Sur le plan financier les prévisions font état d un doublement du trafic d ici 2020 date d achèvement des travaux et une augmentation sensible des droits de passage grâce à la possibilité de voir transiter près de 100 bateaux par jour contre une cinquantaine aujourd hui Quoique cela dépende du tonnage du bateau le coût moyen d un transit par le Canal de Suez approche aujourd hui 234 000 Euros Pour le seul mois d octobre 2014 les revenus tirés du passage des navires ont atteint 400 millions d euros 5 Le coût total du projet approche les 80 milliards d euros A ce titre le financement se fera en partie via une immense souscription publique sur la base de l émission de certificats 6 Les investisseurs étrangers ne seront pas en reste puisque plusieurs pays comme les Emirats Arabes Unis la Russie ou encore la Chine ont exprimé leur intérêt pour ce projet 7 L attachement à un financement égyptien à 100 pour le creusement de ce canal a été largement été repris dans la presse nationale alors que les investisseurs étrangers devraient être sollicités pour le financement des zones industrielles censées se développer le long de ce nouveau canal La mer Rouge comme objet d étude géopolitique Il va sans dire que l intérêt manifesté par ces grandes puissances que sont la Chine ou la Russie obéit à une logique d influence superposée à des ambitions politiques et économiques Elles ne sauraient laisser les mains libres aux Etats Unis ou aux pays européens dans cette zone Un autre pays qui manifeste régulièrement son intérêt pour la mer Rouge est l Iran alors qu une guerre des nerfs par procuration fait rage entre des pays riverains liés au régime de Téhéran comme le Soudan et d autres

    Original URL path: http://www.diploweb.com/Geopolitique-de-la-mer-Rouge.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Quelle géopolitique de la Libye aujourd'hui ? Avec une (...) - Afrique
    de Sayf alislam Kadhafi fils du dictateur fortement impliqué dans l ancien régime avant de rejoindre l insurrection en 2011 Nombre des responsables de l Alliance ayant occupé des fonctions officielles sous le régime Kadhafi sont touchés par la loi d exclusion Cette faction dispose du soutien des puissantes milices de la ville de Zintan qui comme les milices de Misrata ont joué un rôle important durant la guerre de 2011 Bien que méfiantes les unes envers les autres les puissantes milices soutenant chacune des deux factions coexistent alors pacifiquement et veillent à ne pas empiéter sur le territoire des autres leurs mentors politiques étant conscients qu un affrontement entre elles mettrait un terme au processus politique engagé et plongerait le pays dans la guerre civile ouverte Si la grille de lecture d un clivage idéologique entre islamistes d une part et libéraux ou nationalistes d autre part a régulièrement été mise en avant par les médias étrangers la réalité est plutôt celle d une lutte pour le pouvoir entre deux factions dont les chefs manipulent des identités primaires clan tribu ethnie plus ou moins idéalisées et l esprit de corps des milices qui les soutiennent pour les mobiliser contre leurs adversaires La question de la laïcité n est en effet pas pertinente en Libye tous les acteurs s accordant sur le fait que la charia devra constituer la source principale mais pas exclusive de la future Constitution et du droit Un clivage entre urbains et ruraux Une autre grille de lecture plus pertinente est celle du clivage entre urbains et ruraux La première faction regroupe en effet grossièrement les populations se réclamant d une tradition urbaine affirmée la seconde étant constituée majoritairement de populations dont les racines rurales bédouines prédominent sur leur identité citadine Kadhafi ayant fait des tribus d origine bédouine du centre et du sud de la Libye l axe de son pouvoir au détriment des grandes villes le conflit actuel entre les deux camps recoupe l opposition récurrente en Libye entre centre et périphérie C est dans ce contexte de paralysie du CNG d absence d État et de violences locales que le 16 mai 2014 le général Heftar ancien commandant du corps expéditionnaire libyen au Tchad en 1983 puis exilé volontaire aux Etats Unis jusqu en 2011 lance son opération Dignité avec pour objectif affiché d éradiquer les Frères musulmans et les islamistes tous qualifiés par lui de terroristes extrémistes L offensive est lancée à Benghazi contre les puissantes milices qui ont constitué le fer de lance de l insurrection de 2011 et disposent de ce fait d une forte légitimité révolutionnaire Dirigées par des chefs se réclamant du courant salafiste nationaliste et non pas des Frères Musulmans et partisanes d un État libyen unitaire ces milices aguerries et bien armées sont alors en voie d intégration dans les structures étatiques naissantes armée police En Tripolitaine les milices de Zintan rallient l offensive du général Heftar et donnent l assaut au CNG le 18 mai

    Original URL path: http://www.diploweb.com/Libye-combien-de-divisions.html (2016-02-08)
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  • de Kadhafi Jean Claude Lattès 2011 Ses articles pour Diploweb com Libye combien de divisions Kadhafi est parti mais la violence et la terreur sont restées L unité nationale de façade qu imposait le dictateur n a jamais atténué les vieilles Direction Directeur P Verluise Conseil scientifique Charte du site Faire un don Devenir membre Auteurs Proposer un article Synergies Présenter le site Conférences Partenaires Participer Proposer une synergie Liens

    Original URL path: http://www.diploweb.com/_Patrick-HAIMZADEH_.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Algérie. Violences intercommunautaires dans le M’Zab, (...) - Afrique
    masse des jeunes qui touche davantage les habitants du grand sud algérien accentue le climat politique malsain dans la région de Ghardaïa La majorité des émeutiers sont issus de quartiers populaires où les perspectives d un avenir meilleur sont perçues comme utopiques Cette frustration sociale s explique aussi par le décalage entre un chômage de masse et les richesses en ressources gazières de la région Une partie de cette jeunesse sans emploi est alors attirée par la violence la consommation et la vente de substances illicites Corrélativement depuis les années 2000 et plus encore après la chute du régime de Mouammar Kadhafi en Libye en 2011 Ghardaïa avec d autres villes sahariennes algériennes est devenue une plaque tournante de différents trafics illicites de dimension internationale Tout d abord la route de la cocaïne sud américaine qui transite par les ports du golfe de Guinée en partance pour l Europe traverse la région de Ghardaïa Le haschich marocain est quant à lui à la fois consommé dans la région et exporté vers la Tunisie et le Moyen Orient via le nord du Sahara algérien Le trafic et la consommation de drogue ont en partie aggravé les émeutes sociales et identitaires de Ghardaïa en 2014 selon les analyses de chercheurs algériens relayées dans la presse Ibadites et mouvement berbériste des relations ambiguës L autre fait marquant de ces événements est la cause berbère qui est mise en avant par certains activistes mozabites Ces émeutes intercommunautaires cacheraient une tentative du pouvoir central algérien d arabiser de force la vallée du M Zab La société berbère mozabite a été dès l indépendance du pays en 1962 mal perçue par Alger qui la considérait comme rétrograde et sectaire Dans une démarche politique de mise en place d un Etat nation algérien fort à partir des années 1960 le gouvernement a facilité le déplacement massif de nomades arabes vers la ville de Ghardaïa Cette installation d une communauté non berbérophone et non ibadite dans la capitale des Mozabites aurait pour finalité l assimilation à long terme des Mozabites au reste de la société algérienne Il est délicat de confirmer ou d infirmer cette perception obsidionale mais quoi qu il en soit l existence de celle ci est à prendre en compte pour comprendre les tensions La crise identitaire que connaît la vallée du M Zab depuis des décennies et qui s est accentuée en 2014 n est cependant pas comparable à la problématique kabyle La Kabylie est située à une cinquantaine de kilomètres d Alger tandis que Ghardaïa est à plus de 600 kilomètres au sud de la capitale La diaspora kabyle notamment en France est plus nombreuse et pèse politiquement plus que la diaspora mozabite en Occident Le facteur démographique est aussi primordial dans le combat identitaire les Kabyles étant près de six millions contre seulement 200 à 300 000 Mozabites en Algérie Ces différents paramètres expliquent la faiblesse du combat mozabite et son absence de médiatisation à l échelle internationale Les Kabyles nombreux et aux portes de la capitale avec une élite intellectuelle majoritairement francophone et laïque ont pu imposer certaines de leurs revendications dans le pays A contrario les Mozabites peu nombreux à l élite arabophone et imprégnée d un islam rigoriste n ont pas reçu le soutien attendu des mouvements berbéristes basés en Europe Autre fait marquant la société mozabite est peu politisée contrairement à la société kabyle De ce fait l ensemble des partis politiques berbères en Algérie sont nés en Kabylie Le FFS d Ait Ahmed le RCD de Saïd Saadi ou le MAK de Ferhat Mehenni soutiennent tous trois des revendications politiques et sociales associées aux spécificités de la société kabyle Ces partis berbéristes ont aujourd hui un poids politique faible au sein de la société mozabite de par leurs revendications laïcistes Les Mozabites sont berbérophones d un rite islamique condamné par de nombreux islamistes algériens mais restent des musulmans pratiquants qui associent l islam à leur vie sociale et politique Cette incompatibilité entre les partis berbéristes majoritairement laïques et la société du M Zab explique en grande partie ce manque d appui de ces mouvements à la cause mozabite Seuls certains députés du FFS se sont déplacés à Ghardaïa pendant les émeutes du début de l année 2014 mais ne se sont pas exprimé au nom de fondements berbéristes mais au nom de l unité nationale en péril dans la région Cependant le sentiment d abandon des habitants de la vallée du M Zab voire le laisser faire des forces de l ordre face aux exactions de certains casseurs peut à moyen terme accroître le poids politique des autonomistes locaux La médiatisation par les médias algériens de l autonomiste berbériste mozabite Kamel Eddine Fekhar laisse penser qu un berbérisme d un genre nouveau peut émerger à Ghardaïa Il s agirait d un berbérisme spécifique à la société mozabite qui serait plus proche des valeurs islamiques qu occidentales Des causes des émeutes finalement difficilement identifiables La cause berbère est sans doute primordiale dans ces événements mais il y a peu de sources fiables pour étayer cette hypothèse Les médias les politiques issus du pouvoir ou de l opposition les habitants de la région sont incapables de déceler les responsables de ces actes Ainsi pour le gouvernement et pour les forces de sécurité ces violences sont provoquées par des réseaux mafieux locaux L opposition berbériste quant à elle accuse le pouvoir algérien de manipuler voire d acheter des casseurs arabes dans le but de terroriser les Mozabites berbères Des habitants de la région pensent plutôt que ces violences urbaines sont liées à la détresse sociale d une partie de la jeunesse au chômage Ce qui ressort de la presse ou des discours des hommes politiques sur ces violences dans la région provient essentiellement de récits sans véritables fondements Quant aux entretiens réalisés sur place durant l été 2014 ils se sont avérés décevants Parmi certains nationalistes algériens le rôle de la main de l étranger est mis en avant dans

    Original URL path: http://www.diploweb.com/Algerie-Violences.html (2016-02-08)
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