Good Girl, Wife or Foreign Fighter - Danish Media Constructions of women in ISIS
Sammanfattning: Women who have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, have been understood as serving passive and largely supportive roles in ISIS state-building by media and, to a far extent, academia. Academia has argued that the passive role evolves into active participation in weaponed combat and planning of attacks. This paper investigates the Danish Newspaper’s constructions of Danish women involved with ISIS as developing from a local problem concerning marginalized young Muslim women to a widespread social problem about ‘terrorism’. Furthermore, this paper investigates how these constructions are used in the public debate to argue for or against their repatriation to Denmark. This paper argues that three overall narratives are used in the construction of Danish women who have joined ISIS. Firstly, the passive ‘ISIS-bride’ narrative, the passive ‘ISIS-wife’ narrative, and the dangerous ‘foreign fighter’ narrative. These narratives depend on master narratives deep-seated in Danish culture and have a lasting impact beyond this case. Furthermore, this paper argues that women joining ISIS should not only be understood as a change in ISIS-state building practices, as this position has largely disregarded the women’s own voices and motivation for ISIS participation. Women’s role should likewise be understood as a change in media, public and political understanding of women’s participation in Violent, Militant Islamist organizations, such as ISIS.
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