ISIS is actively recruiting women to help with the domestic side of holy war.
The jihadists are on social media outlets scouting for western women willing to travel to Syria to cook and clean for “Allah’s soldiers.” And not just any western women; they seek women who are “interested in explosive belt and suicide bombing more than a white dress or a castle or clothing or furniture.”
The self-proclaimed Islamic State established the Al Zawra women’s auxiliary group and tasked it with bringing new recruits up to speed.
It’s a jihadi-style finishing school for the women of ISIS, offering tips on snagging a warrior husband (sample tweet: “Marriage in the land of jihad: till martyrdom do us part,”), and instruction in such diverse subjects as sewing, Sharia law, weaponry, and battlefield first aid. The group has a worldwide following through its YouTube channel, Twitter feed, and Facebook account, and dozens of personal member blogs and Facebook pages spew English language propaganda (not all are reachable from U.S. computers).
Special attention is given to cooking, with recipes for a “hungry mujahideen” released online as part of the Al Zawra Media “jihadi cookbook.”
Animated clipart cooking videos and elaborately detailed step-by-step photography accompany the recipes. Most dishes are simple foods that hit the spot during a break in the daily rampaging.
Date mush snack balls are described as “a quick recipe for a mild appetite to be eaten with coffee or with water and eaten at any time, especially during the intermission in battles. They contain significant calories, and will extend the power and strength of the Mujahedeen, God willing.” A more extended lull in the war against the infidels means it’s time for pancakes. It’s a western-style recipe (1 egg, 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, 1 Tbsp oil, 4 tsp sugar, salt) served with honey. According to Al Zawra, pancakes fit for a terrorist should be cooked in a non-stick pan.
It’s the ordinariness that makes it surreal.
The girls and young women of ISIS have Tumblrs and Instagram accounts like teenagers everywhere, but they gossip about husbands attaining martyrdom and share unrecognizable niqab-clad selfies. Their internet memes are less cats more suicide vests, and cooking lessons come from horrifically brutal terrorists.
Al Zawra truly represents the banality of evil.