[ by Charles Cameron — better to fall in love and out of terror ]
One can perhaps sympathize with the bumbling jihadist Mark Taylor, lonely in Syria and in need of female companionship: no wonder he appeals on an “Islamic marriage” datng site:
I need a righteous practicing Muslim lady who wants to do Hijrah [immigrate] here inshallah
It may be, however, that he’s the one who should be making hijrah away from Syria and jihad..
I say this because Bruce Hoffman‘s Atlantic piece from 2001 shows that love can transform terrorists into a, well, less destructive member of society. When Arafat wanted to de-fang members of Black September, he invited a hundred beautiful young women to a meet-up:
here, in a sort of PLO version of a college mixer, boy met girl, boy fell in love with girl, boy would, it was hoped, marry girl. There was an additional incentive, designed to facilitate not just amorous connections but long-lasting relationships. The hundred or so Black Septemberists were told that if they married these women, they would be paid $3,000; given an apartment in Beirut with a gas stove, a refrigerator, and a television; and employed by the PLO in some nonviolent capacity. Any of these couples that had a baby within a year would be rewarded with an additional $5,000.
I imagine Mark Taylor would face serious prison time if he did indeed return — a far cry from $3,000 and an apartment with gas stove, refrigerator, and television — but hey, conjugal visits? I dunno.
Love may lure some unfortunate women into terrorism — but it can also draw dedicated fighters out of it. It’s a mighty forceful force, is all I’m saying.
NZ Herald, Bumbling Kiwi jihadist Mark Taylor who is fighting for Islamic State in Syria The Atlantic, All You Need Is Love