I’ve been wondering about the lead in this AP story for some time:
CAIRO — Muslim extremist women are challenging al-Qaida's refusal to include — or at least acknowledge — women in its ranks, in an emotional debate that gives rare insight into the gender conflicts lurking beneath one of the strictest strains of Islam. (“Al-Qaida's stance on women sparks extremist debate”).
What I’m wondering is whether or not the women are extremists because they want to blow themselves up as Al-Qaida terrorists, or if they’re extremists because they’re feminists who see gender equality as achievable through self-detonation along with all those lucky men.
Here’s the context of the story:
In response to a female questioner, al-Qaida No. 2 leader Ayman Al-Zawahri said in April that the terrorist group does not have women. A woman's role, he said on the Internet audio recording, is limited to caring for the homes and children of al-Qaida fighters.
His remarks have since prompted an outcry from fundamentalist women, who are fighting or pleading for the right to be terrorists. The statements have also created some confusion, because in fact suicide bombings by women seem to be on the rise, at least within the Iraq branch of al-Qaida.
A'eeda Dahsheh is a Palestinian mother of four in Lebanon who said she supports al-Zawahri and has chosen to raise children at home as her form of jihad. However, she said, she also supports any woman who chooses instead to take part in terror attacks.
Another woman signed a more than 2,000-word essay of protest online as Rabeebat al-Silah, Arabic for "Companion of Weapons."
"How many times have I wished I were a man ... When Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahri said there are no women in al-Qaida, he saddened and hurt me," wrote "Companion of Weapons," who said she listened to the speech 10 times. "I felt that my heart was about to explode in my chest...I am powerless."
But wouldn’t it be more accurate that she was saddened and hurt because she felt that her heart wasn’t about to explode in her chest?
Word in the woman’s studies street is that this is the next international feminist cause celebre. Ms. Magazine is picking this up for their summer issue under the headline, “My Suicide Belt, My Soul.” And Self Magazine is raving up those last-stop bus rides under the title, “One-Second Makeovers!”
And Broadway is considering a PC revision of Annie Get Your Gun, featuring a new rendition of "Any Jew You Can Kill, I Can Kill Better."