Imagined Communities and the Radicalization of Second Generation Muslim Women in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) concerns itself with the issue of its citizens becoming radicalized and joining extremist groups. Daesh is one such group that is able to attract people from varying backgrounds to commit violent acts of terror. Moreover, Daesh encourages those in the West to migrate to their controlled territory to participate in the ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq. The group relies on women to participate in this migration so that they can marry jihadis and raise the next generation of supporters. This paper examines how Daesh radicalizes these women, specifically second-generation Muslim women in the UK. Daesh uses social media to radicalize recruits and this holds true in their strategy for incorporating women into their self-declared caliphate. Once women have migrated to Daesh-controlled territory, they themselves act as radicalization agents via social media. This paper uses Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities as a way of formulating how Daesh constructs its own community through pseudo-nationalism that is able to radicalize young people in the West who are part of a diasporic group and do not have particularly strong ties to their ancestral culture and religion. To facilitate the radicalization of secondgeneration Muslim women in the UK, Daesh uses social media to establish a particular image of the caliphate through this pseudo-nationalism. This paper uses a case study of Amira Abase, Shamima Begum, and Kadiza Sultana, or the ‘Bethnal Green Girls’, to explore the radicalization of SGMW via social media.

Tags: Daesh, Radicalisation, Recruitment, Social Media