• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Isis seducing Danish women to seek paradise

Justin Cremer · 9 Oct 2014, 17:39

Published: 09 Oct 2014 17:39 GMT+02:00

Of the more than 100 Danes who have travelled to Syria to fight in that country's civil war, at least 15 have been women.
 
Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at the Swedish National Defence College, told The Local that many European women are going to Syria to marry jihadists, having been seduced by slick social media messages and the belief that they will be rewarded both on earth and in the afterlife if their husband becomes a martyr. 
 
“There is a sense of excitement. There is a romanticised view of wanting to marry a martyr. There is a death cult and an obsession with getting to paradise. The women also get special privileges if they are married to a martyr. If you’re married to a fighter who has died, you rise up among the other women,” Ranstorp said. 
 
“There is also this doomsday prophecy about judgement day and a fight against the false messiah. So they see what’s going on in Syria as a sacred moment in time in a sacred place,” he added. 
 
 
Ranstorp explained that jihadists believe that martyrs are allowed to bring 70 family members with them to paradise if they die as a martyr fighting for jihad. Thus many of the women see their decision to marry a fighter as a “heroic” decision for their family and their community. 
 
Ranstorp said that Isis is very effective at recruiting women via social media and that the jihadists’ message can appeal to women who are in a very patriarchal environment. 
 
“They are often not free to marry who they want, so in some ways this seems sort of liberating – that they can choose their own destiny and go down and marry a martyr. However, what they don’t understand is that once get into Isis’s ranks, they are at their mercy,” he said. 
 
 
Many of the women who are seduced by the Isis message to leave Western societies find out that it is not what they thought it would be.
 
“Many of the women are calling home crying, many of them have a kid with one of these guys. They call home crying saying ‘Get me out of here,’ but of course there is no way to help them. They are stuck there. They are not allowed to travel outside of the cities without a male escort,” Ranstorp said. 
 
Ranstorp said that once one joins the jihadi environment, it’s like entering a different world.
 
“They take on new personas, they often adopt a nom de guerre, with the men taking on a name that includes ‘Abu’ or ‘father’ and the women a name including ‘Umm’ or ‘mother’. So they take on these personas and create this world in which they live in, which becomes an echo chamber of extremism. And these things eventually find their way into the bedroom of some girl surfing the internet in Denmark and some of them get sucked in,” Ranstorp said. 
Story continues below…
 
 
Ranstorp told The Local that the best thing Denmark can do is to accept that women can’t be stopped from going to Syria and to instead focus on what to do when they come back. He said it would be particularly effective to have women who have actually been in Syria share their stories with others.
 
“Someone needs to tell them that it is no bed of roses down there. They will literally pass you around as a sex slave. There will be women who will have sex with different men every night and they are completely at their mercy,” he said. 
 
According to a report from DR, at least two women who left Denmark were killed while in Syria.

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Justin Cremer (justin.cremer@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
American tourists flocking to Copenhagen
The number of overnight stays and international passengers are both up sharply in the first quarter of 2016. Photo:

American tourists flocking to Copenhagen

10 hours ago

A number of new low-price flight options have given the Danish capital a major tourism boost.

My Danish Career
'I was fired from my first Danish job after nine days'
Henrik Cullen is a British-born expat who also holds Danish nationality. Photo: Juan Franco

In the latest instalment of My Danish Career, we spot with British-Danish 'local expat' Henrik Cullen who overcame a rough start to find success in Copenhagen.

Danish man gets stuck in museum chimney
Not the actual chimney. Photo: Adrian Scottow/Flickr

Maybe he just couldn't wait until the museum opened on Monday.

Denmark ready to cut off money to royal grandkids
Queen Margrethe and her eight grandchildren waving to well-wishers on the queens's birthday last month. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Scanpix 2016

Politicians appear ready to limit the number of Queen Margrethe’s grandchildren who get an annual salary from the state.

First service marks Battle of Jutland centenary
A memorial park to mark the world's largest naval battle that took place May 31, 1916 during World War will soon open in Denmark. Photo: Scanpix

Britain yesterday kicked off a week of commemorations marking one hundred years since the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of World War I.

Border checks
First migrants make it from Denmark to Sweden on foot
The Øresund Bridge connects Copenhagen to Malmö. Photo: Colourbox

Dozens of attempts to cross the Øresund Bridge have been made, but this is the first successful crossing.

Seagulls 1, Aarhus 0
Aarhus's Hitchcockian nightmare will continue. Photo: Stefan W/Flickr

Officials in Denmark’s second city declared an all-out war on seagulls earlier this year. They lost.

Russia lashes out at ‘hostile’ Denmark
Russia's ambassador to Denmark, Mikhail Vanin. Photo: Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Kingdom of Denmark

Russia’s ambassador to Denmark accused the Danes of being “hostile” and “anti-Russian” in an interview published on Friday.

Danish MP cleared for 'bomb civilians' remark
Søren Espersen of the Danish People's Party. File photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix

Copenhagen Police have dropped proceedings against Danish People’s Party (DF) spokesperson Søren Espersen after he said that Denmark “should start” bombing civilians in Syria.

Denmark's biggest IPO to be windfall for Goldman Sachs
Dong's expected market value is up to 106.5 billion kroner. Photo: Claus Fisker/Scanpix

The Danish wind farm group Dong Energy is valued at up to $16 billion, leading to renewed debate about its partial sale to the US investment bank.

Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
National
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Society
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
National
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Culture
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
National
Denmark extends 'temporary' border measures for sixth time
National
Denmark nears final decision on controversial fighter jets
Society
Muslim ‘girls only’ swimming sessions ripple Danish waters
National
Could Danes face a 'red meat tax' to help climate?
National
Denmark unable to process or issue visas
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
International
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Business & Money
How Denmark’s national bank card is about to change
Culture
The best Danish bands you've (maybe) never heard of
Danes leaving the church in droves
Society
Atheist campaign gets Danes to leave the church in droves
2,290
jobs available