Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sex, Lies, and Social Media

by Kim Van Sickler

This month I'm veering in a new direction with this bloghop. Insecure readers. 

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ISIS recruiters are preying on our insecure, idealistic, rudderless youth.

The last thing they care about is honesty. They will say anything to recruit gullible people. And they know the place to spin their web is social media.

Take, for instance, these Q & As with ISIS recruiters on, designed to show how ISIS is misunderstood because their members are really just like us, except with a dash more romance.

Submitted question: What is your favorite dessert?
ISIS recruiter's answer: Hot apple pie with ice cream on top.

Submitted question: How do you maintain your beard?
ISIS recruiter's answer: Shampoo, scented oils, and a comb.

Submitted question: Have u ever fallen in love?
ISIS recruiter's answer: The day I fell in love with Islam.

ISIS illustrates the sad fact that if you tweet and post enough BS, some people will believe.

It's hard enough to imagine ISIS recruits naive boys and men to fight for them: 20,000 foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq since last summer. 4,000 of those fighters come from Europe, 100 from the US.

But what is beyond belief is that ISIS is able to reach isolated, bored young women and convince them, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, they will be doing a noble and adventurous thing by giving up everything they know to become a part of the glorious Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria. Current estimates are at least 550 girls/women have been enticed through this rhetoric.

Last week three affluent and well-educated teenage girls from Britain disappeared into Turkey and are believed to have been smuggled into Syria to connect with ISIS.
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Three British teenagers who disappeared last week on their way to join ISIS.
In October 2014, three teenage girls from Denver were apprehended on their way to ISIS.

Hundreds of women from western countries have made it to ISIS. They have married ISIS fighters and some even fight alongside their husbands.

But the reality is far different from the promises, as two Austrian teenagers, who are married to ISIS fighters and reportedly pregnant and desperate to come home have discovered.

According to a recent United Nations report, here is the reality: ISIS confines women to their homes. Detailed rules determine what women wear, who they socialize with and where they work. Girls older than ten must be fully covered. Girls as young as 13 are forced to marry ISIS soldiers. Girls who aren't recruited are routinely captured and forced into sex slavery. Females are not allowed to consort with men outside of their immediate family. Women who break the rules are lashed, or for more serious infringements, stoned to death.

It's a deadly mistake to trust everything you read. We've got insecure readers looking for fulfillment. And very secure writers reaching out to tell them exactly what they yearn to hear.


  1. Great post, Kim. And so true. I'm not surprised how the women are treated. it's hard to understand that the women don't realize what will happen to them before they join. It's so true that you can't believe everything you read.

  2. So scary. They arrested a guy who works in the mall in my town! I don't know what they're looking for, but they need help if they think they'll find it in ISIS.

    1. Hi Debra, yes ISIS is moving beyond the disenfranchised fringe elements of society to reach our youth. It's more dangerous than ever for people to feel isolated and misunderstood, because you take someone desperate to find acceptance and put them online and they can easily make these dangerous connections and be deeply affected by them.

  3. That's some frightening data. I have a hard time understanding what these girls (the ones who go willingly) are thinking. I don't think I'll ever be able to understand. I hadn't realized they were using social media to recruit. Good place to hit younger people.

  4. Scary stuff. Thanks for the post.

  5. It's scary how easily so many young people are getting sucked into their trap.

  6. That is really scary. Why would any woman sign up for that?

  7. I do not understand how these kids, even adults, can think their lives will be better with ISIS. What are they looking for that's missing in their lives?