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12-08-2019     3 رجب 1440

Is radicalization of women a new trend in Kashmir ?

November 30, 2019 | Mushtaq Wani

Kashmir is considered to be the land of Sufi saints. It is bestowed with immense religious wealth in the form of numerous shrines and places of worship, enjoying reverence and allegiance of people from different faiths. But slowly a religious trend antagonistic to the Sufi-culture is mushrooming in the valley. What is the role of this group in bringing socio-religious change? How has it come up in the recent years?
From the earliest times Kashmiri women enjoyed freedom, wielded ample power and exercised responsibility. They had an elevated status than many of their counterparts in India. In Kashmir they were afforded opportunity to distinguish themselves in any sphere of social activity. As a matter of fact they had emerged from domestic into the political stage.
Islam grants a woman the right to choose a man—even ask for him—for a marriage contract. But our cultural milieu is such that, far from being encouraged to exercise this right, a woman is made to go along with her parents’ wishes, to please them and protect the family’s honour when it comes to exercising a choice over whom one is to marry!’
Militancy resulting from radicalisation and violent extremism is a serious threat to Kashmiri society in general and women folk in particular. From a gender perspective, women's radicalisation and involvement in violent extremist groups remains relatively under-estimated as there is still a general view that militancy almost exclusively concerns men. Whilst a new report on fighters suggests that 17% of them are women. The role of women in counter-radicalisation is more widely acknowledged, although the focus tends to be confined to women as concerned family members. While the influence of mothers is highlighted by many practitioners, women's role in prevention goes beyond close family circles, extending to other capacities such as policy shapers, educators, community members and activists. Women's empowerment, be it through legal, financial or cultural means, thus becomes essential for tackling the root causes of extremism and defeating radicalisation. Although a gender aspect has not been systematically applied in security strategies, several experts advise the adoption of a gendered approach to counter-radicalisation policies.
The varied and nuanced responses by women in Kashmir on why they choose or not to choose the hijab /abaya was a fascinating exploration of what female freedom really means.
In the nineties there were militant organizations like Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of faith) that used coercive tactics to force women to cover up and wear burqa but these groups did not gain much traction in society. They stopped their coercive tactics.
An interesting observation of how women differed in opinion from men who claimed wearing hijab or burqa could afford some degree of protection.
Notion that one has become radicalised because one chooses to wear a certain kind of attire is naïve. ‘You just can’t assume that a Muslim woman who wears the hijab is being subjected to patriarchal rules or is dumb. Just because women cover their heads doesn’t mean that they are covering their brains as well.
Maybe, they just want to break the stereotypes perpetuated by Islamophobes and people from within.
Radicalization and violent extremism in both countries primarily hit against women’s rights. Women not only suffer direct physical and sexual violence in the form of flogging, stoning and beating to death, forced marriage and rape etc., but also bear most of the brunt of loss of livelihood and displacement; disappearances, disabilities and killing of family members. This study documents both direct and indirect adverse effects of radicalization and violent extremism on women, in Pakistan.
We grapple with issues of cultural norms and honor as well as the effects these actions have on women’s health, employment, education, and family. Cultural norms of honour inhibit victims of sexual violence to speak up; nonetheless, the study brings forward instances in Kashmir, wherein victims of sexual violence either committed suicides or went into severe depression is vital cause of radicalization and extremism. Renunciation of armed struggle has not given them any substantive political alternative, thereby strengthening the forces which resort to religious radicalization as the only means to achieve Kashmir’s political objectives, which has further led towards this change in the socio-political structure and dynamics in the Kashmir.

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Is radicalization of women a new trend in Kashmir ?

November 30, 2019 | Mushtaq Wani

Kashmir is considered to be the land of Sufi saints. It is bestowed with immense religious wealth in the form of numerous shrines and places of worship, enjoying reverence and allegiance of people from different faiths. But slowly a religious trend antagonistic to the Sufi-culture is mushrooming in the valley. What is the role of this group in bringing socio-religious change? How has it come up in the recent years?
From the earliest times Kashmiri women enjoyed freedom, wielded ample power and exercised responsibility. They had an elevated status than many of their counterparts in India. In Kashmir they were afforded opportunity to distinguish themselves in any sphere of social activity. As a matter of fact they had emerged from domestic into the political stage.
Islam grants a woman the right to choose a man—even ask for him—for a marriage contract. But our cultural milieu is such that, far from being encouraged to exercise this right, a woman is made to go along with her parents’ wishes, to please them and protect the family’s honour when it comes to exercising a choice over whom one is to marry!’
Militancy resulting from radicalisation and violent extremism is a serious threat to Kashmiri society in general and women folk in particular. From a gender perspective, women's radicalisation and involvement in violent extremist groups remains relatively under-estimated as there is still a general view that militancy almost exclusively concerns men. Whilst a new report on fighters suggests that 17% of them are women. The role of women in counter-radicalisation is more widely acknowledged, although the focus tends to be confined to women as concerned family members. While the influence of mothers is highlighted by many practitioners, women's role in prevention goes beyond close family circles, extending to other capacities such as policy shapers, educators, community members and activists. Women's empowerment, be it through legal, financial or cultural means, thus becomes essential for tackling the root causes of extremism and defeating radicalisation. Although a gender aspect has not been systematically applied in security strategies, several experts advise the adoption of a gendered approach to counter-radicalisation policies.
The varied and nuanced responses by women in Kashmir on why they choose or not to choose the hijab /abaya was a fascinating exploration of what female freedom really means.
In the nineties there were militant organizations like Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of faith) that used coercive tactics to force women to cover up and wear burqa but these groups did not gain much traction in society. They stopped their coercive tactics.
An interesting observation of how women differed in opinion from men who claimed wearing hijab or burqa could afford some degree of protection.
Notion that one has become radicalised because one chooses to wear a certain kind of attire is naïve. ‘You just can’t assume that a Muslim woman who wears the hijab is being subjected to patriarchal rules or is dumb. Just because women cover their heads doesn’t mean that they are covering their brains as well.
Maybe, they just want to break the stereotypes perpetuated by Islamophobes and people from within.
Radicalization and violent extremism in both countries primarily hit against women’s rights. Women not only suffer direct physical and sexual violence in the form of flogging, stoning and beating to death, forced marriage and rape etc., but also bear most of the brunt of loss of livelihood and displacement; disappearances, disabilities and killing of family members. This study documents both direct and indirect adverse effects of radicalization and violent extremism on women, in Pakistan.
We grapple with issues of cultural norms and honor as well as the effects these actions have on women’s health, employment, education, and family. Cultural norms of honour inhibit victims of sexual violence to speak up; nonetheless, the study brings forward instances in Kashmir, wherein victims of sexual violence either committed suicides or went into severe depression is vital cause of radicalization and extremism. Renunciation of armed struggle has not given them any substantive political alternative, thereby strengthening the forces which resort to religious radicalization as the only means to achieve Kashmir’s political objectives, which has further led towards this change in the socio-political structure and dynamics in the Kashmir.


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Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
Legal Advisor: M.J. Hubi
Printed at: Abid Enterprizes, Zainkote Srinagar
Published from: Gulshanabad Chraresharief Budgam
RNI No.: JKENG/2010/33802
Office No’s: 0194-2451076, 9622924716 , 9419400056
Postal Regd No: SK/135/2010-2019
Administrative Office: Abi Guzer Srinagar

© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved.