Cosmo or Coma: al Qaeda Offers Women Both

Literature is rife with stories of people who made deals with the devil for youth, beauty, riches, or success in exchange for their soul. Usually the devil seeks them out in a moment of weakness, like he did Faust or Joe Boyd in the Broadway hit, “Damn Yankees”. Today, the always adaptable Lucifer entered the communication age with a new way to seduce his victims; a glossy magazine complete with assault rifle on the cover.

al Qaede mag cover When I first read the story that al Qaeda had launched Al-Shamikha, loosely translated to “The Majestic Woman”, aimed at recruiting women jihadists, I thought it was funny: I actually laughed at story lines like how to have a lovely complexion by “not going out more than necessary and always wearing your niqab as protection against the sun”. This had to be a spoof…a parody worthy of Stephen Colbert . But the story kept popping up on MSM sites throughout the day. The laughing stopped when I realized there was no joke.

According to the UK newspaper, “The Independent”, this new version of how to be a mid-east Cosmo girl includes advice on finding the right man ("marrying a mujahideen"), and provides tips on first aid and etiquette, along side interviews with martyr’s wives and praises those who give their lives in the name of a twisted interpretation of Islam. "From martyrdom, the believer will gain security, safety and happiness".

For those readers not quite ready for such a drastic step, it argues the pros and cons of honey facemasks and lobbies against "toweling too forcibly": My goodness we wouldn’t want to damage that lovely skin of yours before we convince you to splatter it in little pieces all over a street or cafe.

In full “media launch” mode, the editors of Al-Shamikha, when asked why they started the magazine, replied, “"Because women constitute half of the population – and one might even say that they are the population since they give birth to the next generation – the enemies of Islam are bent on preventing the Muslim woman from knowing the truth about her religion and her role, since they know all too well what would happen if women entered the field of jihad… The nation of Islam needs women to know what is expected of them."

Media analysts say the idea is to market global jihad with the same slick feel as Cosmopolitan Western culture to young women. So there you have it girls: Launch in to spring with a new lipstick or a new Kalashnikov. Either way you’re bound to make a splash.