Mary Wakefield

How do bright schoolgirls fall for jihadis? The same way they fall for Justin Bieber

Isis may seem like bullies to us, but in the skewed light of a smartphone they appear as underdogs, a revolutionary brave brigade taking on the big bad West

28 February 2015

9:00 AM

28 February 2015

9:00 AM

How could they? How could girls brought up in the wealthy West abandon their families and their own bright futures to join Isis, a gang of vicious thugs? It’s not just our girls, either, they’re sneaking off to Syria from across Europe and America too, teenagers, bright ones typically, set on becoming sex slaves in a war zone.

London’s latest runaways — Shamima, Amira, Kadiza — were pupils at Bethnal Green Academy and the headmaster there, a Mr Keary, echoed most people’s reaction when he shook his head and said: ‘I don’t understand it. It doesn’t make sense.’

But Mr Keary’s wrong, most people are wrong. It does make sense. Let your outrage subside and it’s pitifully easy to see what draws these idiots to Islamism. It’s not evil, or any inherent flaw, but just a simple set of ordinary influences which combine to create catastrophe.

For a child to choose religious orthodoxy may seem sinister — aren’t teens supposed to want freedom? — but look again and it’s just the usual rebellion against a parent. These girls and others like them are usually second or third-generation Brits. Their parents have assimilated, hoped their children would follow suit, so they rebel by becoming Islamists. The Dutch academic Ian Buruma spotted the trend a decade ago in a book investigating the assassination (by an Islamist) of the film-maker Theo van Gogh. He said: ‘The main perpetrators of violence in the name of religion in Europe are not, on the whole, the original guest workers or refugees… it is their children born in Europe who are vulnerable to a modern, violent, revolutionary creed.’

Buruma was writing about angry young men, but in their own way girls are even more vulnerable to the siren call of a creed. Most normal 15-year-old girls are popping with righteous indignation, desperately seeking a cause. British schoolgirls of a secular sort find their vocation defending seal pups and abandoned dogs. But for a Muslim schoolgirl, already Islamo-curious, there’s a cause waiting in the wings — and it’s a cause that understands their language.


Isis may seem like bullies to us, but in the skewed light of a smartphone they appear as underdogs, a revolutionary brave brigade taking on the big bad West. Teens don’t sit and watch the news at ten, they pick it up piecemeal on social media. All three of the recent runaways followed countless jihadis online. On Twitter and Instagram, in their own carefully curated feeds, these no-hoper Isis yobs seem not only justified but cool, almost boyband. One Direction — east.

Yes, you say, but this boyband isn’t offering a snog or a celebrity selfie, but a life of rape and sharia law. What’s sexy about that? These girls have learnt about feminism, they must be deranged to volunteer for servitude. That’s a reasonable position, of course, but what hope does reason have against a teenage crush? Think of the screamers at pop concerts. Muslim girls are falling for Twitter profile pics of fighters in the same unstoppable way. There’s a sort of moth-like self-immolation about a teenage girl’s love which makes it almost long for martyrdom.

If you doubt that Islamists exert a Beiber-ish pull, look at the social media sites of Dutch jihadi ‘Yilmaz’. To anyone not crazed by puberty, Yilmaz is an obvious pillock. He spends his time taking moody selfies, and posting pictures of kittens. Yilmaz has had more than 10,000 marriage requests from lovestruck Muslim girls around the world.

The runaway girls also travel in packs, usually three at a time, and girls together form an echo chamber. Where one girl might see sense, three start seeing pixies. A girl group can turn any fantasy into reality in a few breathless OMGs. A crush on some Yilmaz can become a one-way ticket to Turkey.

But the most important factor perhaps is just how susceptible young girls are to older, more worldly ones. Shamima and co. had a mentor who guided them through their conversion and flight. Umm Waqqas is known to our tabloids as Islam’s ‘Mrs Big’ and is thought to be Isis’s main recruiter of girls. If Desperate Jihadi Housewives were a soap opera, as it really should be, then Umm Waqqas would take the starring role.

She tweets excerpts from the Qur’an, attacks critics of Isis and posts pictures of muffins with maple syrup: ‘Wish this was my breakfast today. Lol.’ It perplexes people that kind and gentle girls can overlook the atrocities Isis commits, the beheadings and torture. But Umm Waqqas’s Twitter feed shows just how easy it is to justify any action. After the Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh was burned alive, Umm Waqqas posted a picture of Afghan children allegedly burned by American drones. Then she retweeted another jihadi bride: ‘WOW, people’s emotions are totally out of control. Where is ALL that emotion when babies are burned alive by the US or her coalition?’

On the thorny subject of whether Islam should be a religion of peace, Umm Waqqas is adamant: ‘You lots need to study the Fiqh of Jihad and I’m sure the “moderate” within you will disappear. LOL.’ To critics she often says: ‘Go read Surah Anfal mate.’

Umm Waqqas is right — Surah Anfal does make for interesting reading. It exorts believers to ‘fight until there is no more fitnah’ (disbelief). And says: ‘Whoever defies and disobeys Allah and His Messenger, then verily, Allah is Severe in punishment. This is the torment, so taste it, and surely for the disbelievers is the torment of the Fire.’

Imagine if you can being a credulous and sheltered youngster. Imagine that you’ve been taught, as all Muslims are, that the Qur’an is the literal word of God. Then imagine your exciting new Twitter friend, Umm Waqqas, sends you this passage from the Surah Anfal: ‘Lo those who believed and left their homes and strove for the cause of Allah, and those who took them in and helped them, these are believers in truth.’

Leave home, says Allah, or be an unbeliever. And Umm Waqqas is all too clear about what happens to them.

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Show comments
  • Rik

    Then perhaps those first generation guest workers should be teaching their children that the Koran is not the literal word of god,perhaps they should shield them from the hate preachers in their mosques and madrassi,perhaps they should teach their children some bloody gratitude at being born in a free country not some third world pesthole.
    If they don’t, then let them depart to the hell they have chosen as long as it is understood they have rejected British citizenship and will never never be permitted to return.

    • MRAs are retarded

      Yes but this would involve us all growing a backbone and publicly critiquing the religion itself. The public mood is not to offend ordinary Muslims and the media mood is not to get killed.

      • will91

        You have to give some credit to our media. These are obviously girls who have spent an inordinate amount of time fantasying about the pleasures that await them in IS. Girls who are completely unperturbed by the crucifixion of minorities, burying children alive and burning of prisoners. Yet our media has still managed to make them out to be the victims. Let me give you a slow clap, well done!

        • cartimandua

          They were groomed and Muslims are more “trainable” because of insecure attachments from inherited maternal trauma. They then get the rote learning thing. ta da.
          They were trafficked into prostitution just like the girls groomed in Rotherham and around the country.
          Everyone needs to tell the truth about women under Islam and say it is not acceptable because Muslims are raised to think it is. Women are trained to masochism from the getgo.

          • will91

            I don’t like the choice of the word “groomed”, it subconsciously implies they had no say in the matter. What we need to confront is the rather apparent concern that some girls, given the choice, would rather align themselves with the head hacking cult of IS than live in a free western society.

          • cartimandua

            They were groomed. They will probably find when they get there that the pretty boy they have been chatting to is not the one they are obliged to “marry”. They have been trained up to masochism as a Muslim woman from the beginning.
            They will have taken in insecure attachment with Mothers milk. That’s the result of inherited trauma.
            Being treated worse than a farm animal in places like Pakistan does create trauma and it passes down through generations.
            All the women’s “place” cra* taught in families and Mosques seals the deal. The flip side of masochism is sadism which
            is “thank God my son is dead” or ” thank God my husband is a martyr”.

          • will91

            I think the real blame should lie with a multicultural policy that has allowed countless communities to grow in just about every town and city in this country, which are, to all intents and purposes. Transplanted directly from the Punjab. They then attend either state or religious schools which either teach the decadence of the west or crimes of British imperialism, Why are we surprised when people want to align themselves with IS?

          • will91

            The only way these girls have been groomed is by been marinaded in a multicultural society which has failed to present the superiority of western values. They’ve attended either a religious school where western society is portrayed as decadent and unworthy or a state school where they’d have been lectured on the crimes of British imperialism and that national identity was something to be sneered at. The real question is why are we surprised when this happens?

          • Solage 1386

            National identity can mean little or nothing to the truly religious person. An English Christian has more in common with an Iraqi Muslim than he does with an English atheist. Religious belief is a Universal, and cannot be limited by mere man-made borders, and viewed as being simply a localised cultural phenomenon. A disturbing thought, of course, but, I feel, probably true…….I certainly hope that someone can prove me wrong. Truth is often a bitter pill to swallow.

          • will91

            I understand what you’re saying but I profoundly disagree with the idea that an English Christian has more in common with an Iraqi muslim than he does with an English atheist. Christianity, in England as in much of the world, has been tailored so that it is largely in accordance with the traditions and liberties that have evolved in England over a millennium. Christianity has been subject to secular pressures and as a result has been ‘molded’ into something quite docile. For example, this is why Christians and Jews aren’t stoning people to death for working on a Sunday. By contrast, Islam has not been subject to these secular pressures.

          • Solage 1386

            In which case, religion is in no way “transcendent”. It is “merely” a useful device for creating an overarching cultural identity for the masses, in much the same way as nationalism or patriotism. I approve of this. It confirms something that I have long suspected to be true: Plato’s vision of the perfect State advanced in his “Republic” is highly likely to be correct! Five minutes ago, I discovered that I have been banned by The Guardian, after 604 comments going back ten months, using the name “Ultimatespinach”. Success! I hope the same misfortune doesn’t happen to me in The Spectator!

          • Ivan Ewan

            Tell me, who were all these secularists who so expertly pressured the Christians into changing their ways over the last few hundred years?

            How did those traditions and liberties come to be, in an overwhelmingly Christian nation, if they contradicted Christianity?

            Who were these phantoms?

          • Solage 1386

            These brain-dead bimbos deserve everything they’re gonna get!

          • Helen of Troy

            Being oppressed by their own families, I can well imagine why they might say or think ‘thank god’….

          • tim5165

            Those naïve lasses need to learn that FGM without anaesthesia is a sine qua non for any girl to develop into a moslem woman.

            Curious that Mrs Jonathan Morgan MP has not instructed her Ofsted Inspectors to ask primary school and pre-teen children as to whether they are aware that moslems routinely commit acts of grievous bodily harm.

          • ajcb

            Very interesting point. Something similar was said about Elizabeth Smart, the young Mormon teenager kidnapped by a religious nutter for whom she developed a kind of Stockholm Syndrome obedience. Girls in some cultures are more vulnerable than others.

          • MacGuffin

            Theo van Gogh told the truth about women under Islam and he was murdered for his trouble.

          • Solage 1386

            We should have no sympathy for religious females. They are just as much responsible for their situation as their male co-religionists. They choose to live the life they lead. They are not victims. They collude in their own “oppression”, and do not in fact regard themselves as being “oppressed”.

          • cartimandua

            They actually have not “chosen” at all. Just look at what happens to adults who leave Islam. It is rejection by all they know and threats of violence and murder.

          • Solage 1386

            Most Muslim women would agree that apostates deserve to be destroyed. Their Faith is more important to them than their gender. The first voluntarily assumed, the second an “accident” of birth–though willed by Allah.

          • Solage 1386

            Cartimandua, you are able to think for yourself whilst these unfortunate creatures cannot…… How so? Please explain. (Incidentally, it pleases me to pretend that I am a male pretending to be a female, whereas in fact I am a female pretending to be a male pretending to be a female, if you get my drift!)

          • cartimandua

            Then Jesuits said it. Give me a child (they said boy) until he is 7 and I will give you the man.
            Firstly there will be insecure attachments from the inherited trauma suffered by women under Islam. The Mothers may not be currently abused but in Muslim countries abuse is almost universal and legal.
            The proof of that is how little these girls care about their parents. They are not attached to them at all.
            In the USA with an educated Muslim population abuse sinks to 60% from 70 to 90%.
            If the only way to be loved is to submit you submit.
            Children do what they must just to survive.
            A “good” Muslim woman is a masochist but is also infantilized.
            They are not supposed to have choice or moral agency.
            Insecure attachments include a disorganized attachment.
            Picture if you will a child approaching a parent not knowing whether that parent is going to hug or hit.
            The Muslim attitude to their deity is rather like that. The Father God wants them dead then they are really “good”.
            There is a lot of maternal hatred aimed at suicide bombers. It may be overt or quite unconscious.
            That is why we should dump multiculti and break the cycle where Muslim women and children are raised not to have any real choices.

          • Yvonne & Barry Stuart-Hargreav

            Quite often the only book in an Islamic home is the Qu’ran. They are narrow minded and medieval folk who choose ignorance. It is partly a time issue. Islam has failed to modernise, never had a reformation. Worst of all it has no sense of humour, so is very, very Unenglish…. incompatible with progressive thought and too readily given to rage against nonconformity or the lightest criticism. Islam needs to be challenged to justify its backward looking timidity and desrespect for individuality. If we fail to do this we will leave open only one avenue….to eventually be forced to outlaw its practice on our islands.

        • Ali

          I hate to say this given that these girls were clearly undeterred by what they must have seen of IS – but in a sense they are victims – of the so-called liberals in Britain’s schools, universities and media who refuse to entertain any criticism of or doubts about Islam, and as Mr. Cohen has recently pointed out, give no support whatsoever to ex-Muslims. Children are simply not being equipped with the tools for critical thinking about religious opinions.

      • global city

        and the assertion that these two things are in fact one and the same we can do nothing.

    • Bonkim

      You sound like a foreign born troll.

  • MRAs are retarded

    “To anyone not crazed by puberty, Yilmaz is an obvious pillock. ”

    Lol.

    Then older women need to get on his feed and say so.

  • cartimandua

    JB never sent his groupies pictures of tortures and murders. Muslim women and girls are infantilized. This has allowed them to be trafficked.
    We must tell the truth about being a woman under Islam.

    • We must keep on telling the truth about islam … period.

    • Solage 1386

      All religious people–both male and female– are infantilised. They infantilise themselves. The Great Sky Father wishes it so! The Great Sky Mother too, for that matter……The Christians have created a whole Family and placed it “Up There” in the Heavenly Realms! Let’s face it, you can’t get much more infantile than that……

      • Stephen Milroy

        Man in the sky? No we aren’t talking about Zeus (hate jihadists but fricking loathe atheists and agnostics. It was them who let the Islamists in!

    • itbeso

      I did wonder why the parents were sporting the 15 years old giant teddy at the news conference. Most bizarre.

  • MacGuffin

    Bomb the Bethnal Green Three while they’re over there. If they live and somehow make it back to these shores, imprison them.

    • cartimandua

      Their brains are still growing it should be possible to de cult them.

  • wudyermucuss

    There is,of course,no similarity between fancying a pop star and fancying a jihadist savage.
    None.

    • Helen of Troy

      They’re worse than savages. I would rather, given the choice, have gone off with an Amerindian circa 1900.

      • wudyermucuss

        Good point.
        They are not savages.
        They are deliberate,ideological extremists.
        Or maybe not extremists either,maybe real Muslims who follow the Koran and Mohammed’s example literally?

  • Jennifer Cox

    “Isis may seem like bullies to us but”… Bullies? They are genocidal, murderous sadists who brutalise anyone who doesn’t toe their bizarre line. This piece manages to be both sexist *and* apologist for people who have chosen to go and join terrorists. It is ridiculous to suggest that poor silly girls are so at the mercy of their hormones that they can pretend the crucifixions and killings are ok. It’s true that “Teens don’t sit and watch the news at ten, they pick it up piecemeal on social media” – but social media are exactly where these people boast about their atrocities.

    I had a bit of a thing for Simon le Bon in my youth but I would have gone right off him if he’d started killing people. These people are not helpless children in thrall to irrational female desires. They have seen what this group does and decided to be part of it. Not hormones – just hate.

  • anotherjoeblogs

    I don’t think there is a death penalty for Beliebers if they leave their faith but there is for believers

    • Solage 1386

      They thought love was only true in fairytales, fit for some-one else but not for them……Love was out to get them (doo-doo-da-doo), that’s the way it seemed (doo-doo-da-doo); disappointment haunted all their dreams.
      Then they saw his face! Now they are Beliebers. There’s not a trace of doubt in their minds. They’re in love! They are Beliebers!

      • Howe Synnott

        The Monkeys meets Justin Bieber – a mesmeric fusion.

      • anotherjoeblogs

        Then i couldn’t see her face cos she’s a believer.
        she couldn’t leave it if she tried..if she tried
        well the song is something like that by the j 5 formerly known as one hell direction ( the jihadi boy band )

      • Ed  

        Oooh. You’re showing your age. And I suppose I’m showing mine, because I get your reference. Sigh.

        • Solage 1386

          My old man said follow the van and don’t dilly-dally on the way……..Sigh!

    • Yvonne & Barry Stuart-Hargreav

      Perhaps they mean the belaboured.

    • Noa

      If they want to be brides of islam Rotherham would suffice as well as Raqqua.

  • ajcb

    In other words: it’s romantic. Just like running away with the circus. By the way, being a groupie, for, say, the Rolling Stones is lauded in British culture, too. (Or at least not savaged for being synonymous with being a disposable sperm receptacle, which it should be.) I think this piece is spot on, and in no way incorrect because clear-eyed grown-ups cannot fathom the girls’ stupidity.

    • Solage 1386

      Mick Jagger has child-bearing lips…….I’ve heard certain dark rumours that these lips too are a pair of sperm receptacles! Whither this rumour? My lips are sealed! Unlike Micks! How romantic!

  • Mariya Aldrich

    Thank you for writing a piece that displays some empathy. Understanding the Bethnal Green girls’ motivation is important because it sheds light on the success IS is having using social media. Highlighting this success is not an apology or defence, it it an important reality in combating IS.

    • Guest

      “Always is always for ever, as long as One is One….” Charles wrote some good songs, it must be said…… He is much misunderstood. I often play his ditties on my harp, whilst caterwauling at the top of my voice!

  • William_Brown

    Wow!…that is all.

  • cartimandua

    Their parents and Mosques and of course the media have sugar coated the reality of life for women under Islam. Perhaps also parents who want to give their children everything they never had infantilize their daughters even more than Islam routinely does. No one tells children the truth. Even in my daughters school in PPE they said
    “some people view women differently”. I beg your pardon? We gave up slavery some wee while back. Multiculti betrays everyone.
    The result is children being trafficked into a terrible situation to service monstrous people.
    We should celebrate the art, literature, music, and dance of other cultures NOT their most primitive attitudes which create failed states and trafficked children.

    • Achmad Osman

      Wow, you have been trolling for a while now. Don’t you get tired?
      “A” for effort.

      • cartimandua

        I do facts. It seems you don’t. Life for women under Islam is miserable in every Muslim country. Only Turkey has prosecuted once or twice for honour murder. I think Pakistan is now being forced to since the murder took place in front of a court house and police.
        70-90% of women in Pakistan suffer abuse. In the USA with an educated Muslim population it falls to 60%.
        Smell the coffee Achmad. Gender apartheid is a primitive agrarian custom and it leads to violence in and out of the home.

      • Ahobz

        Cartimandua is a regular and sensible commenter on these boards. you, on the other hand, I have never seen before.

        • Achmad Osman

          Well- this is something I have never seen before. A troll with a groupie. LOL

          • cartimandua

            You have no facts to counter anything I say. You have no argument. Just calling me a troll because you don’t like what I say doesn’t cut it. It makes you the troll. I have many fans actually because I always look at what happens to women and children.
            I actually don’t want Muslim children and young people to come to harm. I cannot imagine why you would want them to.

          • Don’t worry Cartimandua … he is just another muslim doesn’t like to see the truth in your well written post.
            He is a quisling at best, but traitor would be a better description for him.

          • cartimandua

            I don’t want Muslim women and children to be harmed. We see how much Muslim men actually care about Muslim women and children and its not much at all as long as Muslim men harm or neglect them.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Seconded.

        • Solage 1386

          I HAVE seen him before…..Achmad was at one time a member of The Osmands, a Turkish boy band who had many hits in the 70’s…….I recognise his mischievous smile and twinkling eyes……

    • Solage 1386

      Spineless wimmin have only themselves to blame for their predicament. It is essential that we withhold any sympathy we may feel for these poor deluded creatures. They should grow a pair of bollocks, and fight their own battles! (Let them follow the example of Boudicca Queen of the Iceni, Cartimandua Queen of the Brigantes, and fight back against the males who so sorely oppress them!)

      • cartimandua

        Children cannot “fight back”. Forced marriages run into the thousands every year in the UK.

  • Peter

    These young women should have stayed at the Bethnal Green Academy, where they would have got an educashun. They would have learned the advantages of controlling their fertility, putting off child-bearing until 30 (if they can still find a husband, that is.) Who knows, they might have got a job writing for the Spectator or, failing that, the Guardian.

    Instead they have made the choice of finding themselves brave (if murdering) husbands; and having babies at an age which is biologically ideal and, until amazingly recently in human history, always adopted. Now … I wonder what can have led them to do this?

    • cartimandua

      They might well die in childbirth because women do without adequate medical care and then since terrorist groups cannot run anything which works they face disease and starvation.
      ISIS will probably not “do” vaccinations either. So what will get their poor benighted children Polio perhaps? Diptheria? Measles?
      They have show children holding up severed heads. There is a plague about to happen. Cholera anyone ,typhoid?

      • Peter

        “They might well die in childbirth because women do without adequate medical care “… Err, no. Not usually.

        • cartimandua

          Wrong Peter. In Afghanistan the risk of dying in childbirth is one in 6. These girls won’t have stunted pelvises from being denied sunlight in their childhood, but they may well have inherited poor health from their Mothers. Infant birth weight is linked to the nutritional status of the maternal grandmother.

          http://www.skepticalob.com/2013/12/2013-the-year-in-homebirth-deaths-and-disasters.html

          An article about homebirth deaths in the USA.
          Dead babies and dead Mothers.
          Fundy terrorist groups save medical care for fighters.

          • Peter

            In other words, the chances of NOT dying — of reproducing yourself — are 5 out of 6. Better than waiting for a husband after 30, eh?

          • cartimandua

            Each pregnancy. They will be pushing one out 1 per year in a place with rapidly declining access to anything like decent medical care. It will be Russian roulette.

            Terrorists don’t like modern medicine and what there is the fighters get.

            They are creating a place where the decencies of modern life are no more available.
            The 4 horsemen of deaths in childbirth are still there lurking.

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1633559/

          • cartimandua

            It is one in 6 for every birth not lifetime. They will be popping them out like Pez in a place which probably keeps antibiotics for fighters.
            Puerperal fever awaits.

          • Peter

            I truly (I’m 100% serious) love your idealism.

          • Helen of Troy

            Puerperal fever usually derives from bacterial contamination by the attendant, whoever that is: in the West it was doctors that hadn’t washed their hands and, indeed, refused to do so on points of prickly pride and principle. (Yes, I know: incredible. But true.) So doctors for centuries in essence slayed their patients for want of any common sense, never mind advanced knowledge. (A woman was always better off not being attended by a doctor at all! Especially if his last ‘case’ was a corpse!) Certainly backwards people are more at risk of childbed death for that reason. Hygiene must be observed — or else.

          • cartimandua

            They made it worse. They were not the only cause. Without antibiotics a man could expect to bury 3 wives before antibiotics. ISIS are running out of food and medicines. Women wont get what there is so whether they get a small wound which gets infected or childbed fever the outlook for women who go out there is very grim indeed.

          • Solage 1386

            The chances of dying in childbirth in Wales is one in three, yet I–the Welsh Trollope and only Bard in the village–have survived! “Dead babies?” That’s my favourite Alice Cooper song! Perhaps we have the same tastes, Cartimandua?

    • Solage 1386

      I have recently found myself to be rather inclining to the somewhat outlandish though perhaps understandable if possibly regrettable view that–may I be ultra frank?–they should have their kunts sewn up.

  • Cyril Sneer

    I hope Assad’s boys catch up with them.

  • cartimandua

    It certainly would help if media and educationalists told the truth about life under Islam particularly for women, but also how many millions of Muslim lives the West has saved.
    8 million were about to starve in Afghanistan before we intervened pushed by the UN.
    In Iraq Iraqis didn’t stop killing each other right away. Even so the death toll was only equal to one years worth of Saddam’s doings. He had mass murdered for 20 years.
    The death toll now in Syria alone is over 220,000.
    Absolutely schools media and parents need to recognize
    what is good about us and the West and talk about it.
    Families might start with “back home the Taliban would try to shoot you”.

    • The media does tell the truth, and still young muslims from all over the world, knowing very well what they get themselves into, travel to ISIS.

      “Moderate islam” is not islam and does not exist … ISIS and Boko Haram and Saudia Arabia are islamic.

      • cartimandua

        It never tells the truth about women under Islam. They think that would be rude. Extreme “covering” is rotten mental health like anorexia.
        Everyone else is treated like a disease.

        • WTF and Cartimandu: various outlets like BBC and Guardian put on rose tinted glasses on, and C4 news even has a muslima reading news now – so we have to look beyond them to get the truth, but it is out there and easy to get to.

      • WTF

        The media plays down the Islam connection and therefore Islam inspires them to all manner of barbaric practices.

      • Solage 1386

        Boko Haram? Didn’t they have a hit in the 60’s with “A Darker Shade of Pale?”

  • MacGuffin

    These three girls remind me of nothing so much as Charlie Manson’s girls.

    • WTF

      Or a bunch of female ‘droogs’ from Clockwork Orange !

      • Solage 1386

        Gloomy groomed droogs….get yer tongue round that one…….Females are far more aggressive than males! I KNOW this to be true, but have never found a single person who will agree with me! Females never forgive and–like the proverbial elephant–never, ever forget! They carry their resentments to the grave……

        • Ivan Ewan

          Well, I don’t know if there’s a general rule, but it’s true enough of my sister.

    • Solage 1386

      “Always is always forever, as long as One is One……” Charles wrote many pleasant ditties such as this, and was a much misunderstood man…..I often play his delightful melodies on my harp, whilst caterwauling the deeply philosophical lyrics at the top of my voice, much to the consternation of my neighbours….It must be admitted, however, that his influence on his female followers was often far from benign……The family that plays together slays together!

  • William_Brown

    Staggering naivety.

    However desperate to avoid conflict, however much they are in denial, people like Mary Wakefield need to understand both the scale and nature of the threat that this country, let alone the rest of the world, faces from radical Islam.

    This attempt to portray these latest Jihadis as ‘groomed victims’, is disingenuous and quite frankly, cowardly.

    • Peter Stroud

      Absolutely right. I am just now listening to the research director of CAGE excusing Jihadi John’s behaviour, and the behaviour of other extreme Moslems. It is all the fault of our security services harassing these poor people, trying to recruit them. Strange, I thought MI5 and police special branch were too busy trying to stop us being bombed by the likes of Jihadi John, to waste effort trying to recruit them. It is always our fault, isn’t it.

  • Mrs. Wakefield … you are an apologist.

  • WTF

    They’re not any different from the 1960’s pop group groupies if the truth be told. Jihadist John stands out like a role model and many wannabe Jihadist Ho’s flock to their ilk just for a chance to be f***** by one of the ‘chosen’ ones. After all, their religion tells them they have to be submissive to Jihadists unlike rock bands who just attracted girls by their music !

    • Dogsnob

      Indeed. If The Dave Clark Five hadn’t hacked off quite so many heads with a kitchen knife, they surely could never have gained such a female following.

      • WTF

        Perhaps the Jihadists should use one of their songs as a signature tune, “Bits and Pieces” perhaps after a beheading or “Glad all Over” when their British Ho’s turn up for a good porking !

  • Dogsnob

    In what way does a smartphone skew light?

  • Penny

    Yes, because three teenage Bieber fans running off to Canada for a week to see the object of their affection perform live, is quite similar to three teenage jihadi fans leaving their homes forever to live with men best known for beheading, immolation, crucifying and raping.

    These girls are 15/16yr old A-grade students and while I suppose it is not unknown for teenage idols to attract this age group, Bieber and others like him tend to have a rather younger fan base.

    Bear in mind that as the girls planned this they knew their move would be permanent – and this is no small thing because it means taking on the realities of leaving behind your parents, your siblings, your way of life and your future.

    I wouldn’t be particularly worried if my child showed an interest in Justin Bieber, but I’d be out of my mind if my child showed any sign of wanting to make common cause with a group that specialised in IS-style barbarism. The trend to almost normalise this and other Islamist considerations is alarming.

  • Solage 1386

    These highly vulnerable burkha’d berks are at risk of ending up being buried in Y-shaped coffins after the weirdie-beardie Jidaddies have finished with ’em……. Perhaps this is what they truly desire? Once in Paradise, they will be attended to by a 72 year-old houri-eyed Male Vergin (on the ridiculous), much skilled in the Arts of Love (this according to the 9th Century theologian Al-Khababi ibn Sha’ Wadi-Wadi.) Poor deluded cows.

  • There’s a sort of moth-like self-immolation about a teenage girl’s love which makes it almost long for martyrdom.

    Whatever the explanation, this isn’t it. Speaking as a former teenage girl, there was nothing keen for martyrdom in me! And precious little that was moth-like, too, I hope.

  • AverageGuyInTheStreet

    The only remarkable thing about this episode is our reaction to it. The questioning, the surprise, the endless column inches, clearly show how hugely we misunderstand the muslims in our country and the way they think.

  • Sean L

    Ok let’s play pretend and imagine what people should be if they weren’t what they are and the world wasn’t what it is. Yeah you can’t go wrong from there.

  • Kasperlos

    Recently, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a speech to his nation that some immigrants have played Australia for mugs and that’s going to stop. Let’s see if he words have teeth. When will the UK hear such words from David Cameron and all the other western leaders. The British people demand that HM Government stop playing them for mugs and tackle this problem now.

  • davidshort10

    We make far too big a deal of a handful of misguided girls going off to Syria. The comments in the Daily Mail generally almost 100pc say don’t let them return. It’s not a question of us letting them return. Their husbands will not allow it. A very small number of girls going off does not warrant this kind of explanation as if it applies to hundreds of thousands of young Muslim women. There are far more of them rejecting their parents’ way of life in favour of modern Western society than embracing Isis values. So many Muslims are fighting against the extremists trying to impose their values in the mosques, to the extent of trying to force them to wash in a certain way or pray in a certain way. Proportion, please.

    • cartimandua

      It is a good thing if we care about all children including Muslim children.

  • minmachen

    what about Itching ,itching and more itching !

  • Democritus

    The answer to this is quite simple if you know ANYTHING about female psychology, and aren’t afraid to speak politically incorrect truths. Young women are hardwired to be sexually attracted to dominant men. Sexual attraction is not a choice, it’s an evolved behavior. Jihadis are feared in the West, and women can pick up on this. Young women are programmed to procreate with the strongest man in the tribe. Western men are too busy being weak and effeminate, cowering over to supplicate and not offend any minority groups. In effect, Western men are weak and fearful, and these women are siding with the strongest males, which is their natural behavior. There’s only one solution.

    • Sean L

      Good point and closer to the mark than the pathetic effort above. But that can’t be the entire truth else the numbers fleeing should be far greater than they in fact are. What’s so wrongheaded about the Mary Wakefield approach is to see the political as merely incidental. But it’s no less fundamental than the sexual. As Aristotle says, man is a political animal. To follow your evolutionary tack, zoologically speaking man is also a predatory pack animal. Politically this translates into forms of allegiance, to tribe, religion, nation, party and so on. Thus sexual attraction must be regarded in its political context. Else surely *all* girls should be flocking to the Middle East to breed with these supermen! But surely attraction is conditioned by political allegiance. Thus to compare these girls with their counterparts who adore Justin Beiber misses the point. Which is one of political allegiance. All it ultimately amounts to is that if these girls weren’t who they are they might easily be attracted to Justin Beiber. But I could just as well argue that if jihadi John wasn’t who he is he might be a suburban stockbroker. Big deal!

      • cartimandua

        These girls are conditioned to be subservient by their ethnic customs, family , and religion. Muslim females have no real choices in life. This must look like some kind of “choice” which since food and medicines are running out in ISIS land will sooner or later become a lethal choice.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          They are off for a bit of martyrdumb. People are not good at seeing the big picture and assume they know it all, especially as teenagers.

    • cartimandua

      Not all woman are raised to accept abuse and subservience as their due and duty.

  • HY

    The question answers itself – sort of.
    They are not very bright, all !

  • Rotatceps

    A lot of girls are drawn to brave, muscular fighters for their DNA. Civilization is a very very thin layer. Welcome to the New Stone Age.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      Seems they are also drawn to poorly socialised, immoral, thugs.

  • Hybird

    Let’s face it, marriages will obviously have been arranged for these girls – probably with a cousin. I find it strange that nobody seems to have asked the parents of these girls about what marriage arrangements had been made for them. Perhaps their running away might have had something to do with escaping from being married off to some old, fat, smelly cousin from “back home.” To a devout Muslima , the chance of being married off to a young handsome jihadi “hero” might appear a quite attractive alternative.
    Has anybody asked?

    • cartimandua

      But the pattern of groomers is they get a fat old stinky when they actually get there. If they are “brave” and in the front line they get killed and the “wives” get passed on to another .

  • kazdix

    I would say its because they are perhaps not very bright after all. If the female half of the Islamic world CANNOT work out that they get a very poor deal from their religion then their foray into academe is a bit pointless.

  • mumble

    J*st*n B**b*r is so hyper-annoying that I’m happy to blame the Middle East on him, even though this argues unevidenced organisational capacity. It’s not as if Blair and Campbell are going to put their hands up.

  • laurence

    Because their alleged ‘intelligence’ is always trumped, suppressed, by their ghastly religion. As Swift puts it, you can’t reason someone out of something that they didn’t reason themselves into. Intelligence requires an open, questioning mind.

  • Why are column inches still being dedicated to pointless, useless and self-serving hand wringing over this?

    Where’s all the hand wringing over what has just happened to Sammie Sunter – a bona fide victim here in the UK?

  • WTF

    Why do young men and women run off to join ISIS ? The answer is very simple, they are already brainwashed by Islam and that religion fills the the void in their self created sad lives.

    It has nothing to do with the west, our interventions or anything else emanating from the west. Muslims have been slaughtering non Muslims (and now other Muslims) since Islam came on the scene 1400 years ago. Whether it was in India, Europe or the Ottoman empire that nearly exterminated Armenians, they have been at it for 1400 years and Islam is the enabler.

  • pobinr

    Apparently MI5 are asking if there is anything they could have done to prevent Jihadi John becoming radicalised?
    Yes there is – Ban Islam !

  • Bonkim

    People have choices in a free democracy. Who are we to judge them – and best to write them off – voluntary slaves to fighters of a dark-ages Army. Ignore them – don’t report on this lot – only adds the oxygen of publicity.

    • WTF

      I agree but too many male Muslims choose the path of barbarity, genocide or pedophile activities whilst some Muslim women just want to become Ho’s to islam !

      • Bonkim

        Yes but paedophilia not just within Muslims.

        • WTF

          True, but its only some Pakistani men that have perfected the art of sexual grooming of vulnerable white girls motivated by race alone.

          At least other pedophiles are generally sole operators and aren’t turned on by racially motivated hate crimes on top of sexual abuse !

  • global city

    until the commentariat understand that, in Islam, bloodlust, devoutness and piety are the same they will never crack the question. The holier they become the more violent is their reaction to dissent.

  • ItinerantView

    How did it happen, when they were such nice young women,men etc?
    As if they adopted violent Jiahdism from thin air without any background at all.
    The ideological basis is interwoven in the Qur’an,Hadith,Sira and Sharia law.
    A traditional Islamic upbringing is all the basis they need, ISIS is only a matter of degrees from orthodox Islamic thought.

    Yet the parents and imams express astonishment when youths head off to the latest jihadi cause.
    When they have laid the foundations for this ideology themselves and are only reaping what they have sown.

  • gerronwithit

    The time for rationalisation is gone for there can be no rational explanation for the activities of the Ialamists, both male and female no matter what age. Once you have an infestation of this magnitude and threat there can only be a policy of eradication and certainly not appeasement. The civilisation that was so hard fought for by our brave antecedents is being dismantled by liberal self loathers for no benefit other than to the insurgent Islamists who publicly crow at the weakness of our response to their threat and are very clear as to what their final solution will be for us.

  • John Steadman

    These nice intelligent girls become wannabe hubbies of crazed butchering animals because their intelligent little minds become warped by an intensive and persistent indoctrination of medieval barbaric notions from the moment they emerge from the room.
    Victims of ‘radicalisation’ – part of the story perhaps; but just part.

  • WTF

    After todays clashes in Newcastle the police need to decide are they with the majority or against the majority when this peaceful demonstration by Pegida was attacked by the fascists of Islam led by George galloway !

    Pick your allegiances very carefully Mr. Plod as this is just the start !!!!!

  • Ambientereal

    I do not agree with this article. I believe those brilliant girls have the “good pupil” syndrome. So by becoming islamists they do not rebel , but they follow strictly the scriptures, the same as they do when learning maths or history. The girls may believe their parents are not good enough at practicing islam and try themselves to do better. It is highly probable that they are strongly influenced by a teacher who is bringing them the ideas of radical islam.

  • Skyeward

    Raising kids in fundamentalist religions is the first mistake. It’s tough enough to be a teenager but much worse if you lack an independent spirit and critical-thinking skills.

    • WTF

      The Nazis used to get them young and indoctrinate them at an impressionable age but a religion like Islam is par excellence if you really want to brain wash innocent children into fascist barbarity.

      • Lydia Robinson

        Especially if you get the British taxpayer to fund it it in State schools – what a wheeze!

    • cartimandua

      The families always seem to have covered and likely non working women in them.

  • Coleridge1

    Should we really care that muslim fanatics travel to Iraq and Syria, kill mostly other fanatical muslims and get killed themselves? I don’t.

    • cartimandua

      We should care that children get groomed into a death cult.

      • Coleridge1

        And whose responsibility is that? May I suggest that blame be attributed to muslim organizations and mosques!

  • Terry Field

    The go to (they do not ‘run away to’ Syria, because they are Muslim; not because they are something else – described as ‘radicalised’ -by pipsqueak lying politicians. We all know this – why does the nonsensical lie continue to be perpetrated?????

  • Jody Taylor

    Bright girls go for terrorists because they are NOT really bright. Somebody just thought they were; they were mistaken.

  • Sean L

    These kinds of commentaries are premissed on the liberal fiction of the free floating individual, the sovereignty of individual choice, and by extension a definition of society as a mere aggregation of individuals.

    But society, the collective, the group, nation, however defined, is and must be antecedent to the individual. For to even conceive of oneself *as* an individual self already presupposes thinking and speaking, that’s to say language, shared meaning and all the unfathomable cultural history that implies.

    This is where the liberal or neo-liberal ideal reaches its limits, because that idea is itself cuturally specific. It’s said that there’s no bigot more intolerant than a liberal bigot. But how could that be when the liberal by definiton believes in the equality of all with no particular allegiance to *any* national or racial group, least of all his own?

    But the tribal impulse, the basic need for a group identity doesn’t just evaporate upon the renunciation of membership of one’s actual national group. Instead it gets redirected into a purely ideal or spiritual realm. But it’s only with his own cultural group that that view even registers. Others’ allegiance is automatically attached to their own national or tribal group or Ummah in this case.

    It’s often remarked how venomous purely intellectual arguments are. Precisely because nothing’s at stake there’s a wholly *personal* subtext. By contrast boxers for instance who are punching each others lights out are typically magnanimous because in their case all the personal stuff is already up front.

    Similarly, whereas the nationalist or tribailst has an actual people or territory to defend, the liberal attaches to nothing but his own *ideas*. *His* ‘territory’ is purely ideal or intellectual and in that sense intensely personal.

    Having said that, there’s also a happy-clappy school whose undestanding and tolerance appears limitless as Mary Wakefield shows. Though you’d be forgiven for thinking they should to stick to the caring professions, which politics isn’t . . .

  • Mode4

    I don’t care why they run away. But I do care that it should be a one way ticket.

  • global city

    Are they taking on the west…or are they carving out an area of devout habitation and cleansing it of anyone not as fervent as themselves. It is this pious Islamic message that is attracting young Muslims….

    • Omar

      Muslims will also cleanse their various cantonments in Europe of Non-muslims, as soon as they get the opportunity.

  • serguei_p

    I think you are mistaking saying that “their parents have assimilated, hoped their children would follow suit”. They did not.
    Their parents were living in a cultural getto, from the very early age the girls learnt that they are better because they are Muslim.
    From the point of view of the parents the girls running away to marry jihardists in Syria is still better then if they married a non-Muslim in England.

    • jongreeb

      Assimilation across racial grounds is impossible. What you get is race-replacement … the dissolution of the native people.

  • Ed  

    “How do bright schoolgirls fall for jihadis?”

    They’re not bright.

    And, the media hasn’t told them how women are treated over there. The media would do that more, if they were more feminist, but apparently it’s OK to be stone-age to women if you’re brown.

    So there is that.

    • cartimandua

      Yup multiculti cover up the truth about women under Islam.

      • Omar

        Very true. The media, who constantly insist that islam is a peaceful religion that has been mistreated and misunderstood, bears much responsibility. This is also how the muslim males of Rotherham were able to claim 1200 victims.

    • Omar

      The treatment of NON-MUSLIM women, specifically, is what you are concerned about. Muslim women hold the whip hand over such women, since they are considered slaves. That, along with the prospect of marrying a jihadi, can be extremely appealing for those of an Islamic supremacist/totalitarian mindset.

      • Ed  

        You’re absolutely right. They’re not exactly prince charming to muslim women, either, who are considered property as well. All in all, Og the Neanderthal would be embarrassed. It’s nasty, nasty stuff.

      • Ed  

        Partially.

        I’m concerned with how islam treats all women. I’m also concerned with how islam treats all infidels. Humiliation, violence, second-class status, slave status, jizya. It’s all pretty stone-age. Frankly, the Christian world has spent centuries climbing out of that muck, and now the jihidiots are trying to drag us all back in. Horrible.

        And….. where are Western feminists on this? I genuinely think they’re stumped, because white = bad and brown = good, so when brown men do bad things to women it causes a weird kind of short circuit.

  • AverageGuyInTheStreet

    Meanwhile Victoria Cross hero Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey and his family have been warned they face a kidnap threat by UK based Muslim barbarians.

  • Bert

    I’ve read some liberal apologist twaddle in my time but you’re right up there Ms Wakefield.

    With regard to Mr Keary echoing the reaction of most people when he shook his head and said: ‘I don’t understand it. It doesn’t make sense.’”

    I concur with your claim that it does, in fact, makes absolute sense but for a different reason.

    It’s because they are not one of us – they follow a religion that is anathema to our culture, our traditions, our history – our whole way of life. So its hardly surprising they don’t feel “part of us” because they are not.

    ” It’s not evil, or any inherent flaw, but just a simple set of ordinary influences which combine to create catastrophe.”

    Utter tosh. Any intelligent rational person would be utterly disgusted at the videos those murdering terrorists have released and gleefully pushed across the ether – whether it be the burning alive of the Jordanian pilot, the mass pillaging and raping of the Yazidis or the brutal beheading of the hostages.

    For you to excuse their infatuation as not being inherently evil but a simple set of ordinary influences is beyond belief.

    It’s because of limp wristed Liberals such as yourself that this country has the Moslem problem it does.

  • cmflynn

    Here is a a truth which has been hidden by our secular society for many years. Many young women do not want to spend their lives following a brilliant career or even a humble job outside the home. They want nothing more than to be a good wife and a good mother to a large family of children and to stay at home to do it. Can you imagine a C of E or Catholic bishop saying ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ today?No, but many Imams will. So Islam confirms what many women want and so they will gravitate in that direction.

  • Are Islamists denying that Jihad is the path for ultra-orthodox muslims they’re bearing, feeding and creating?

    Maybe Islamists will soon acknowledge Caliphate (recognised by the rest of the educated world as ultra-extremism) is the result of moderate muslims moving to Western nations by the million instead of nation-building back in Islamic nations and instilling moderation.

  • amcdonald

    So the virgin schoolgirls didn`t watch the jihad-porn snuff movies just the kittens and pics of jihadi faces on the caliphate dating sites? Bright or a bit thick and sick ?

  • Lydia Robinson

    These girls came from families who were offered asylum here and, through our generosity, have been afforded welfare, free health care and a free education. The same goes for “Jihadi John.” It does not matter, however, how much is on offer here and their actions speak louder than words. They can’t and won’t ever adapt to Western societies. No more asylum for any of them.

  • Hallowed are the Ori

  • nfw

    As long as they stay wherever they’re going and don’t think they can come back to be welfare bludgers then off you go. Of course the parents would have to be charged under some sort of child welfare or lack of welfare law.

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