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Why are French girls flocking to ISIS?

Experts try to explain why more French girls than boys are leaving to join jihad and live the ‘punk rock’ terror dream.

French girls making bubble soap from one of the trucks of the techno parade at the area of the Opera building in Paris. September 20 2008. photo by Liron Almog/ Flash90. *** Local Caption *** ôøéæ ôøéñ öøôú öøôú ôøéæ ôøéñ

In France, more teenage girls than boys are drawn to joining brutal Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists in Iraq and Syria, a high-ranking anti-terrorist official told AFP this week.

“Among minors, females are over-represented to a proportion of 55%” of those interested in making the journey, or who have already done so, the French source said on condition of anonymity.

Like young girls across Europe who dream of reaching Syria – and often leave their unsuspecting families shocked when they do run away – these girls are not just dreaming of becoming meek so-called “jihadi brides” in the terrorist organization.

While marriage to a jihadist fighter is their likely fate, the girls are as attracted by violence as their male counterparts, said sociologist Farhad Khosrokhavar, who has interviewed many radicalized French Muslim teenagers of both sexes.

“Previously, violence was almost exclusively a male phenomenon (but) this generation has a different outlook,” Khosrokhavar said.

“I have spoken to many who say: ‘My ideal is Kouachi'” – the surname of the brothers who murdered 12 people in an attack on the offices ofCharlie Hebdo satirical magazine in January last year.

“They don’t want to be his wife, or his girlfriend: their dream is to be Kouachi himself.”

However the complex road to radicalization during the fraught teenage years has many sides to it, and one does have to do with sexual attraction.

Khosrokhavar said many of these girls were tired of the “immature young boys” around them in the West.

“There is a new cult of heroism, of virility. The young jihadist becomes a masculine ideal for these teenagers…it is an anti-feminist post-feminism: that is, they want a man with traditional


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