What Do They See? A Look at the Appeal of IS to Young Muslim Women Raised in the United Kingdom

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Rebecca Davis


This scholarly research investigates the recent recruitment of young British Muslim women by the Islamic State (IS) in an effort to determine the appeal of said group upon this demographic. Noting that such recruitment falls under the foreign fighter complex, which is usually male oriented, this research seeks to understand why IS is able to extend its appeal to young women. In so doing, many of the preexisting theories for extremism are examined and found to be irrelevant to this particular demographic. Thus, I am arguing that it is not poverty, lack of education, or other economic determinant as is commonly believed to be the roots of radicalization/extremism but rather a search for a personal identity these women feel is lacking, growing up as Muslims in an immigrant context in a non-Muslim country.

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