Job Talk: Hijrah for Legitimacy: Women’s Migration to the Territories of State Building Jihadi Organizations
Like any ruling state, jihadi organizations in control of governing territories (such as ISIS) need a degree of support and legitimacy from the citizens they rule over. In the absence of common means of providing state legitimacy, such as voting; state-building jihadi organizations like ISIS seek alternative mechanisms to establish, maintain, expand and defend their legitimacy. To do so, state building jihadi groups encourage women to make hijrah (migration) to their territories. By emphasizing the marginalization of Muslim women in secular western and Muslim societies, these groups claim to establish “alternative societies” based on gender segregation in which women will be considered an equal citizen without having to give up religious practices. Thousands of women from all around the world heeded the call for hijrah and migrated to the territories controlled by these organizations. This presentation will critically explore and examine the claims of these organizations for using women’s migration to provide legitimacy for their “alternative societies
Dr. Hamoon Khelghat-Doost holds a PhD in Political Science from National University of Singapore (NUS). He is currently a Next Generation Leader on Gender, Peace, and Security (GPS) at Women In International Security (WIIS). His main research interest lies in the intersection of gender and political violence in the Middle East and North Africa with special focus on the strategic logic of women’s migration to territories controlled by militant salafi organizations. His work has been published in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, the Journal of Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis, and the Journal of International Security Affairs.