Trajectories of Radicalized Females in Montreal


Ratna Ghosh, Hicham Tiflati, Alice Chan, Helal Hossain Dhali and Maihemuti Dilimulati

In February 2016, it was reported that 10-12 young females– from varied religious and secular families – who lived in Canada and had been educated in Canadian schools had left for Syria. Of these, at least five Canadian women had conceived children in ISIS territory (Cain 2016, Hopper 2016) and were thus contributing to raising “a generation of Western ISIS babies” (Tiflati in CBC News 2016). Among the 10 Canadian females, up to seven were estimated to be from Quebec (Conseil du statut de la femme and the Centre de prévention de la radicalisation menant à la violence, 2016).
In order to better understand the circumstances that make some females vulnerable to ISIS propaganda in the Francophone context in Montreal this study, from spring 2016 to winter 2017, explored the trajectories of radicalized females who either had left Greater Montreal to join ISIS or had attempted to do so. As such, this study contributes to the research on women in terrorism (Sjoberg 2013, 2014; Gentry 2015; Gentry and Sjoberg 2015; Bloom 2007, 2011; Katherine2011, 2014; Davis 2006, 2013), and to the “Women and violent radicalization” report (2016), co-authored by the Quebec Conseil du statut de la femme and the Centre de prévention de la radicalisation menant à la violence(CPRMV) in particular. While the aforementioned report focused on gender and agency among female jihadists from Quebec, this report discusses the social context and its influence on two specific radicalized females, as seen by their peers, family, and community members in Montreal.

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TSAS WP 2018-05

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