“ISIS recruits: Radicalized young women motivated by ideology, sense of adventure,”
ISIS has been making news again lately with the departure of more recruits, specifically young females. In a CBC news article by Jon Hembrey “ISIS recruits: Radicalized young women motivated by ideology, sense of adventure,” CBC News, 27 February 2015 (http://bit.ly/1ztbIBn) says that the allure is the same as for males that join: a sense of adventure towards an idealized utopia. The article talks about how ISIS utilizes the internet and social media as a means to recruit people, and often times these online recruiters will persuade people that the terrorism they hear about are not true. One individual mentions in the article that their sister was recruited by being told she would be attending a class on Qu’ran, a religious text of Islam. There are even tips on how to join, leave their country, what to pack and wear, and even financial aid given for people that are considering wanting to join. Women are kept in the dark about what life is really like once they join, which often times ends with them blindly walking into a life of forced marriage and sexual slavery. They are restricted from leaving their homes, often allowed if their husbands are with them, and to even leave the group is nearly impossible for many of them had to give up their passports as a sign of allegiance to the group.
When you look at things from a different perspective, it can be seen that ISIS exhibits characteristics that could be defined to be its own religious group. The group itself is grounded in religious beliefs with the goal to spread their ideas and faith. They are spearheaded by a charismatic leader, reuse existing religious elements, convert people with forms of identity transformation, high commitment, and distance from the mainstream. It also aligns up with Roy Wallis’ definition of a world-rejecting/transformative movement, where the sacralized group and its members drive for social change and resist the dominant order. I is not to say that their extreme actions are something that is common in new religious movements, but with their ideology and roots in religious beliefs, this offers a different insight on the group. Though I do not support their movements and practices, it is clear that many others do also share their point of view and have been radicalized enough both physically and spiritually to join this movement. What would be interesting to see later on is how world governments and public will react to ex-members escaping and re-entering society. Will more be able to speak out and be free? Or will deprogramming, a mechanism popular back in the day with Moonists, become a tool to get people out?