The Lure of (Violent) Extremism: Gender Constructs in Online Recruitment and Messaging in Indonesia

The gender dimension of violent extremism is under-studied; and “women terrorists” are stereotyped as either men’s dupes or (internet) warriors. Applying a gender lens, this study uses content analysis to examine Islamist extremist websites in Indonesia. Analysis reveals distinct recruitment language targeted at women and men, and rigid gender segregation of content and spaces. Extremists co-opt the language of women’s rights while also promoting gender-discriminatory harmful practices with the intent of establishing what they consider to be a more devout Islamic state. Gender analysis of online extremism has implications for strategies to counter and prevent radicalization to violence.

Tags: Gender, Islamic State, Islamist extremist websites, Radicalisation, Violent extremism