For better or for worse, it’s expected of women to accept their roles as nurturers. So what happens when women nurture hatred?
A recent article described the views held by the wives of the 17 Toronto men arrested in connection with a terrorist conspiracy. The women did not directly answer any questions, refusing to comment to reporters.
However, their views were posted on personal blogs and an internet forum run by Nada Farooq, the wife of one of the leaders of the group, and gathered by The Globe and Mail.
It’s fair to say the women hold an extremist interpretation of Islam. The most pertinent example is that of Ms. Farooq, 18. In one post, for instance, she talks about wanting to have a son, whom she wants to name Khattab, after the commander of the mujahedeen in Chechnya who battled Moscow until he was assassinated in 2002.
According to the report, Ms. Farooq says, “And i pray to Allah my sons follow his footsteps Ameeen [Amen],”. Her avatar is a picture of the Koran and a rifle. (All the postings in the article are rendered verbatim from the internet forum.)
Born in Karachi, Ms. Farooq lived in Saudi Arabia through her childhood years, before her parents decided to come to Canada. The parents didn’t want to raise their children in Saudi Arabia’s conservative society. Ms. Farooq’s father is a pharmacist, working at Canadian Forces Base in Alberta. He supports of the presence of Canadian troops in Afghanistan.
Unlike her father, Ms. Farooq finds little favour with the country she’s living in. She calls it a ‘filthy country,’ and deems Canadian laws irrelevant as they aren’t the laws of God. In her opinion, gay Muslim Canadians should be sent to Saudi Arabia where “these sickos are executed or crushed by a wall, in public.”
Some of her most vituperative comments have to do with the Israeli missile strike that killed the Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi. “May Allah crush these jews, bring them down to their kneees, humuliate them. Ya Allah make their women widows and their children orphans.”
What makes these young women so hateful? Could Ms. Farooq’s unpleasant experience when she first came to Canada – she was teased by school children – have something to do with her positions? Did she always have these opinions, or were they formed when she came in contact with her husband?
Gender politics would interpret Ms. Farooq’s views as an attempt to keep in with her traditional role as a caregiver. She’s married to 20-year-old Zakaria Amara. Not much is known of Mr. Amara beyond his personal blogs, through which emerges the personality of a devout Muslim man conflicted with his life in Canada. For instance, Mr. Amara advocates getting married early to a pious wife in order to escape the temptation.
It would be expected that Ms. Farooq’s hardline views would be inspired by her husband’s stance. (Mr. Amara’s blogs seem to suggest that his parents aren’t as religious as he is.) After all, as a wife and a mother, it would be traditionally her role to keep the family’s religious approach alive. However, it’s evident that of the two, Ms. Farooq has the more extremist views.
So, it could be quite possible that Ms. Farooq’s views are behind Mr. Amara’s actions with regards to his alleged role in the terrorism conspiracy. After all, she did consider a pre-nuptial contract requiring him to go to jihad, or else she would divorce him. (It’s not clear whether Ms. Farooq literally meant a holy war, although that’s what her message suggests.)
In the end, she didn’t ask for the jihad clause. But you can’t help but wonder whether that’s what their everyday pillow talk was about.
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