Kadiza Sultana, one of the Bethnal Green schoolgirls who travelled to Syria last year during a half-term break to join Islamic State, after being radicalised online, is believed to have been killed by a Russian airstrike on the city of Raqqa.
On her arrival in Syria, Sultana, 16 when she left Britain, was married to an Islamic fighter, who was killed. She’d confided to her family that she was disillusioned with life under Isis and was desperate to return home, but could see no way out. Another European female who’d attempted to leave had been battered to death.
While the fate of the other British schoolgirls, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum, is unknown, Sultana has not been in contact with her family for several weeks and a number of sources now say that she’s dead.
All her own fault? Of course, but still it’s devastating – this is not about Sultana “getting what was coming to her”, or about the killing of a “jihadi bride”, it’s about the pointless death of a headstrong, brainwashed teenage girl. [657 comments]
[TOP RATED COMMENT 217 votes] The author simply assumes that she was groomed and is therefore a victim.
The idea that the girl might have made a calm and deliberate choice and that she might actually be responsible for her own actions, seems to escape Ms Ellen.
[2ND 216] I get that teenage girls are more vulnerable than older women, however they still know about the beheadings and other atrocities and unless they are actually mentally impaired than they have to accept full responsibility. A girl being groomed for sex is not in any way analogous to this.
[3RD 183] “But then, isn’t this how groomers operate – making their targets feel unique, noticed, admired? If people accept that children can be sexually groomed online, then why is it so difficult to believe that someone like Sultana can be ideologically groomed – radicalised – by people who know how to cynically manipulate the impressionable teenage psyche? This is how the dogma-flavoured “sweet nothings” unfold. You’re special … You’re exceptional … You’re destined for greatness. That’s how teenagers like Sultana become fired up via the internet.”
No, sorry, that doesn’t work for me. I still can’t fathom how a bright, impressionable girl could decide to throw away her prosperous life and future on a whim after being told “Yeah, it’s true we murder gays, apostates and all our enemies in the most barbaric manner but you’re “unique” and “special”.”
I am still not shedding tears over this dumb girl. Teenagers make mistakes but this is rather unprecedented.
[4TH 173] Some interesting and thoughtful points about the death of Kadiza Sultana. I would agree that she was “groomed” by ISIS but one also has to ask what made her susceptible to their advances. Perhaps the answer to that question can be found in Bethnal Green rather than Raqqa.
[ANOTHER 139] Utterly disingenous. That Kadiza Sultana was lured into joining IS has very little to do with her being a headstrong teenager, and most to do with her being brought up in an already fundamentalist Islamic context.
She liked what she saw in the IS propaganda videos, and she embarked on a mission to be part of that. If at all, one can be sorry for her having being brought up in an environment that led her to find appealing fleeing to Syria and joining a murderous deathcult. [Guardian Cif] Read more