Portrayals of Women on Ethno-Nationalist and Radical Islamic Websites in Bosnia And Herzegovina

This article presents an original analysis of portrayals of women in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on websites with radical and extremist content. We analyze and discuss key online narratives about women and their societal roles from 100 sampled online articles published on ten websites that primarily propagate right-wing, nationalist and Salafist thinking. The article shows that while Salafist websites focus on didactic material about how women are expected to act (selectively using the Quran and hadiths), radical ethno-nationalist and right-wing articles directly accuse liberal-thinking women and feminists of immorality, perversity, and shameful behavior. While studied articles on Islamic websites confine women’s roles to family caretakers and to wives, selected ethno-nationalist articles present women in relation to their national belonging and war victimization. We conclude that the studied websites essentialize women’s societal functions, predominantly placing their roles and identities in the private sphere while linking womanhood to collective national and/or religious identity. Although the selected platforms represent different manifestations of extremisms, they share many similarities.

Tags: Bosnia And Herzegovina, Ethno-Nationalist, National Separatists, Violent Jihadism