‘’ Islam has freed me ‘’

 ‘’ Islam has freed me ‘’ said the women dressed in black from head to toe , who now called herself Mariam . She had crossed oceans to come to Syria for Jihad . In Syria , she had met and married a Swede , who had also come to Syria for Jihad . She said in an interview aired on channel four that she would like to fight , but she is also happy to take care of her man considering it a part of her Jihad duties .

   Together , they live in some- one else’s abandoned house and her logic is a strange one . Originally a British citizen , she embraced Islam not so long ago – but it was more than an embrace ! It was a deadly grip for she gave up everything she had in the UK to come to Syria and help establish the Islamic Caliphate . Her life in the UK was not bad , neither was it unhappy , and she herself describes it as being ‘’ Okay ‘’ !

   Mariam is raising a child and expecting another . Her husband dreams of Jihad and of attaining martyrdom in Syria – as an after- thought he adds , that he hopes to be able to see his yet unborn child before he dies but that point doesn’t seem to bother him to much !Martyrdom is far more important!

   Together they compare guns – whose is bigger ? whose is more useful ? for a minute it appears as if two children are playing guns . But this is a dangerous deadly game – for those two foreigners are intent on fighting for a Syria that they think needs them but how they reached this conclusion and whose war are they fighting are two questions never answered by Mariam.

   Mariam is not alone ! Another British citizen , this one calling herself Aisha , lives close by . The women have become friends . Together they go shopping, decked in flowing black robes and kalashnikovs ! They never want to go back to the UK , even if their men die . They will stay and try to get ‘’ close ‘’ to the Syrian people ! Mariam’s parents are even thinking of visiting !!

   How has extreme Islamic thought reached the UK  and made a British citizen leave the world she has known , to go to a strange land with strange people and fight a war that really has absolutely nothing to do with her ?

   How has this extremism taken form and command and resulted in the death of drummer Lee Rigby? But even stranger why has the British government done nothing to stem this growing tide of extremism ?What will they do when some of them after fighting their Jihad decide to go back to their European countries? Since when have the west and the UK sided with Al Qaeda ? Wasn’t the war with Afghanistan all about that ? and did the British soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan do so in vain ?

 Reem Haddad

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