The idea of women giving themselves over to dangerous men is deeply entrenched and popular, featuring in everything from romance novels to horrorby Christiana Spens / November 3, 2017 / Leave a comment
Over the past few years, the Western media have been fascinated by the stories of so-called ‘Jihadi brides’—the women who have given up their lives in Europe to marry ISIS fighters and bear their children in war-torn Syria and Iraq. From Austrian teenagers to Glaswegian students, they have generally been characterized as weak, naïve and misguided.
Sally Jones a.k.a ‘The White Widow’ was arguably the most iconic of the ‘jihadi brides.’ Reportedly killed in an American drone strike a few weeks ago, her rumoured death came as no surprise: she had spent the past four years depicting herself as Romantic figure, always flirting with death for the sake of rebellion (and love).
Formerly a beautician and a musician in a punk band, whose father had committed suicide when she was ten, and whose first husband had died of cirrhosis of the liver when her first child was only three, Jones’ life already had something of the ‘Romantic’ about it even before she married the teenage ISIS hacker Junaid Hussain.
An early recruit, joining her husband and the ‘caliphate’ with her young son in 2013, she quickly became a symbolic figure. When her young husband died, aged 21, in 2015, her narrative was further romanticised—most often by herself. Her last words on Twitter were: “I’ll never marry again. I’ll remain loyal to my husband until my last breath.”