British IS Woman Campaigns for 'Equal Right to Kill'
A 22 year-old UK citizen campaigned for women's rights in Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in an odd way on Friday: by asking to have equal rights to murder as a terrorist herself.
“Any links 4 da execution of da journalist plz. Allahu Akbar. UK must b shaking up haha," London native Khadijah Dare, who goes under the name Muhajirah fi Sham (‘Immigrant in Syria’) on Twitter, tweeted earlier this week.
The tweet was posted less than 24 hours after the horrific murder of American journalist James Foley went viral, and stated "I wna b da 1st UK woman 2 kill a UK or US terorrist!”
Dare's tweet quickly went viral as well, after it was picked up by the Metro news outlet. Dare later protected her tweets from new followers, but the message - and its implications - still linger.
Dare is believed to have moved to Syria sometime in 2012, after converting to Islam as a teenager, according to the news outlet. Her Twitter account features a picture of her toddler son holding an AK-47 assault rifle.
The incident has raised questions not only over Twitter's user policy - which bans direct threats of violence “on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, or disability" - but also over IS's chokehold on Britain, which has been the focus of Islamists' recruitment efforts for the past several years.
British Islamism: an inevitable trend?
British Prime Minister David Cameron has estimated that at least 400 Britons are among the thousands of European nationals fighting in IS, although several estimates claim that the number could be far higher.
The latest estimate, picked up by Newsweek, stems from Khalid Mahmood, a British MP based in Birmingham. Mahmood estimates that at least 1,500 young British Muslims have been recruited by extremists fighting in Iraq and Syria in the last three years.
The problem has become so well-known that, in June, the CIA sent a special contingent of agents to investigate the extent of Islamic extremism in the UK, in a snub to British intelligence agencies.
In practice, British extremists in Syria and Iraq seem to be taking the spotlight there for their cruelty.
Not only was Foley's killer equipped with a London accent - and has been dubbed "John" - but anecdotal evidence has suggested a trend of particular cruelty among British Islamists.
Three British IS terrorists in Syria, for example, have been dubbed "The Beatles," according to NBC News - for their harshness and British roots, not for their musical talents.
"Whenever the Beatles showed up, there was some kind of physical beating or torture," a source told the daily.
Experts claim the problem may be sociocultural.
“London historically has had Islamist ideology being taught openly without being challenged and there are many people who have grown up knowing and believing that the only way to be Muslims is to create this Islamic state," said Harris Rafiq, head of the anti-terrorist Quilliam Foundation think tank, stated to NBC.
"It's not surprising that jihadis have been able to cherry-pick these people."