01 September 2017
More often than not, the suicide bomber was a male who volunteered to end his life so that his family could obtain permanent welfare benefits from a self-proclaimed liberation organisation. Just as plausible was the male who lost his moral and religious compass amidst a worldly global economy and chanced upon the prospect of providential redemption through an act of ‘selfless terrorism’ against ‘infidels’. Several recent instances in Asia defy this frame of analysis.
Women are now reportedly also tempted to embrace terrorist causes for reasons of psychological displacement and the search for a sense of ‘place’ in dominant power structures. The case reported in the New York Times of Ms. Ayu (not her real name) in Hong Kong and the one of Ms. Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari in Singapore showcase the very real possibility that women are equally salient targets for radicalisation by the likes of ISIS, Al Qaeda and JI. Most recently, Indonesia sent to jail its first would-be female suicide bomber, Ms. Dian Yulia Novi. These women were lured by online propaganda primarily because the latter preyed upon their very fears as a marginalised individual. The significant point is the seeming irrelevance of gender.
… Tamara Nair is Research Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies and Alan Chong is Associate Professor at the Centre for Multilateralism Studies, both in the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
CMS / NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 04/09/2017