Trump and the Deepening Refugee Crisis

Preventing extremism and terrorism is a complex and multifaceted endeavor, but it can include working with governments to encourage them not to abuse and terrorize their own citizens, which can generate more extremism. On the other hand, providing good quality health services, education and security, and enabling meaningful participation in decisions that affect their lives, can enhance citizens’ enjoyment of their human rights and offset the allure of extremism. Demonizing these states, and thereby increasing their fragility, can only make things worse for everyone.

We all need to find common ground between the Trump administration’s foreign policy goals and existing efforts to address the problems of fragile states and the displacement that ensues. In addition, we need to find better ways, perhaps involving the private sector, or through civil society effort, to work with other countries and humanitarian organizations to promote leadership and provide financial support for humanitarian and development response. We cannot leave it up to the next administration to address the needs of the millions of people being driven from their homes by war, persecution and natural disasters.

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ISIL: Where the “Real (Islamic) Men” Are

ISIL’s message: Where the world “denies” potential recruits their masculinity, the Islamic State is ready to confer. The group promises these young men that by immigrating to the combat zones of Iraq and Syria, they will “reclaim” their masculinity by assuming their idealized gender roles of fighter and protector.

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Why Women and Girls Join ISIL

Why would these girls and women, some of whom bring their own young children, decide to journey to one of the world’s most dangerous warzones under the control of a violent insurgent group? Of course, not all women and girls under ISIL control have had any choice whatsoever in their circumstances, perhaps the most dramatic and well-documented examples stem from ISIL’s treatment of Yazidi women, who have been sold as sex slaves, as discussed below. But for the growing group of older girls and women who have responded to ISIL recruitment efforts, a range of promises draw them towards the group.

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Gender Under A Black Flag: ISIL Recruitment

By Dyan Mazurana, Dallin Van Leuven and Rachel Gordon–ISIL’s propaganda gives the illusion that ISIL-controlled areas offer a safe and holy haven, where Shari’a law reigns. It is this ideal that, in part, attracts Muslim males and females with promises of opportunities to directly or indirectly wage jihad and practice their idealized masculine (the fighter/husband/father/protector) and feminine (the wife/mother/protected) gender roles within this contrived society.

But their materials go even further to tailor their message for different audiences. What follows are two blog posts separately discussing ISIL recruitment materials and tactics for older girls and women, and for boys and men.

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