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Thursday, August 26, 2004

'Jihad' magazine for women on web

Radical Islamists have launched a new magazine publication on the internet especially for women.

The aim of the magazine is to show women how to reconcile the apparent contradiction of fighting jihad while maintaining family life.

The magazine is called Al-Khansa, after a famous Arab woman poet in the early days of Islam, who wrote eulogies to male relatives who had died in battle.

It appears to be the first 'jihadist' publication aimed exclusively at women.

The main objective seems to be to teach women married to radical Islamists how to support their husbands

Al-Khansa also appears to be linked to the most well-known jihadist outlet on the internet, Sawt al-Jihad - or Voice of Jihad.

The first edition of the magazine uses fierce language similar to that found on Sawt-al-Jihad.

One of its encouragements to jihad reads: 'The blood of our husbands and the body parts of our children are our sacrificial offering.'

It also gives them specific advice on how to bring up their children in the path of jihad, how to provide first aid and what kind of physical training women need to prepare themselves for fighting.

Most of the articles are written as if by women, although it is not clear if they actually were.

Some take a somewhat patronising attitude, dwelling on supposed female weaknesses that must be overcome in the cause of jihad - such as over-dependence on home comforts like TV and air conditioning.

A section on current affairs also devotes some space to an attack on the recent development of having women presenters on Saudi TV, suggesting it is a kind of prostitution.

The issue of Saudi women's rights also comes in for scorn.