al-Fajr Media releases issue one of a new women’s magazine: “al-Shāmikhah”

UPDATE 4/1 9:39 AM: Here is an English translation of an interview in the below magazine:

Click here for a safe PDF copy: Interview with a Mujāhid Widow Umm Muhannad, Issue #1 al-Shāmikhah

UPDATE 3/5 11:51 AM: For more details on the poetess al-Khansā’ see Christopher Anzalone’s comments below. Also, he highlighted Yusūf al ‘Uyayrī’s, first operational leader of AQAP, killed in June 2003 in Saudi Arabia, book the Role of Women in Fighting the Enemies, which I should have remembered, but it lapsed my mind. Click here for an English translation of it.

NOTE: The below magazines name al-Shāmikhah means majestic. As Alix Levine notes in her new blog, which I highly suggest you check out: “The magazine discusses everything a woman needs to know about first aid, skin care, jewelry … AND of course, how to participate in Jihad.”

In the past, there has also been two other famous global jihadist women’s magazines released. In 2004, the al-Qā’idah branch in Saudi Arabia released al-Khansā’, which means gazelle or short-nosed. The name al-Khansā’ most likely was derived from the famous female Arabic poet from the Najd in the seventh century during the time of the Muslim prophet Muḥammad. Later, in February 2010 another women’s magazine was released called Ḥafīdāt al-Khansā’ (granddaughters of al-Khansā’). This publication only lasted two issues.

Global jihadists reaching out to women is nothing new, though. This is just another step in normalizing their position within the overall movement. The most vivid example recently was when Ayman Ẓawāhirī’s wife Umaymah Ẓawāhirī published a “Letter to My Muslim Sisters,” which you can read more about at Jihadica.

 

Also, back in October, Anṣār al-Mujāhidīn Arabic Forum, which has been down the past month or so, created a new women’s section. Further other global jihadist forums including the newly opened al-Jahād and the French language forum Anṣār al-Ḥaqq, among others, have women’s sections. Additionally, the popular Western jihādī media website Salafī Media has a whole section of the site dedicated to articles on women.

One cannot also forget that women suicide bombers have played a large role in the Caucasus jihād. Most recently, Maria Khorosheva conducted a suicide attack against the ‘OVD’ police station in Gubden, Dagestan. Further, within the global jihadist movement there have been reports of female suicide bombers also in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Lastly, the importance and role given to certain women in the Qur’ān and early Muslim history cannot be underestimated as well.

Click here for a safe PDF copy: Issue # 1 of al-Shāmikhah

 

7 Comments

  1. I think it’s pretty clear that the two magazines derived their name from the poetess in an attempt to claim some of her legitimacy and fame. Her poetry, both from the Jahiliyyah period and after her conversion, is used by these groups to justify revenge. Her poetry does have to do with revenge, first for her brothers who were killed and then her exhortations to her sons before the Battle of Qadisiyyah.

    One could also mention Yusuf al-‘Uyayri’s book, Dawr al-Nisa’ fi al-Jihad Ada’ (Role of Women in Fighting the Enemies), which includes profiles (selective, of course) of famous women from the Prophet Muhammad’s time, including al-Khansa’. The section on her, if I recall correctly, interestingly doesn’t reference her Jahiliyyah poetry, for which she is most famous, and instead quotes her reported exhortations to her sons to fight bravely at Qadisiyyah against the Sassanian imperial army.

  2. […] al-Qaida’s past to a sustained Arabic-language genre. According to a jihad-monitoring site Jihadology.net, al-Qaida in Saudi Arabia previously released al-Khansa, The Gazelle, in 2004. In February 2010, […]

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