Left Foot Forward

Gone girls: why British teenagers are attracted to Islamic State

Yes, the appeal of joining the global jihad and an ‘Islamic utopia’ is conflated with a sense of adventure in social media. But social media is not enough to turn young women into radicals. Jihadism is accessible to men and women, albeit with different roles, and radicalisation is a process rather than a switch.

For young girls, this process stems from two elements. The first is a ‘push’ factor, in that girls feel they do not fit into the societies they live in, and are not understood by their families or by the religion they are supposed to practise. The idea of waging jihad in the Middle East gives these individuals an increased sense of agency, writes Nikita Malik for Left Foot Forward.

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