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Essay on Suicide Bombing: Employment of Female Suicide Bombers

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An example of this is Andaleeb Takatkeh’s video testimony which was aired in mostly all Arabic satellite television channels, right before her suicide bombing. In her testimony she wore a black-and-white checked kuffiyeh around her arms, along with a white headscarf. The kuffiyeh had an illustration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (figure 1). She also read from a pre-written paper; ‘I’ve chosen to say with my body what Arab leaders have failed to say…. My body is a barrel of gunpowder that burns the enemy’ (Hendawi, 2002). With this discourse, it is presumable that the bodies of women are merely canvas’ for terrorist organisations to articulate their overall political and nationalistic agendas, evident with the kuffiyeh having no relation to gender, though gender becomes a tokenistic tactic used to ‘empower’ women into participating in such acts of terror, inflicting torture upon their bodies. They are told that their importance is in death, in a myth rather than in being alive, as such employing female suicide bombers is regressive. This presumption can be supported by how terrorists organisations are always lead by men (such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda), major agreements and meetings are further afforded to men, lacking any female participation. They make agreements which affect women and children, thinking of such groups to be barbaric and mindless, unable to think or act for themselves (Sharoni, 1995: 14-21 and 23).

Akhras’ choice of discourse in the video recording instigated that the male leaders of the Arabic-speaking world must take action and stand up for Palestinian women who are having to fight instead of taking on maternal roles (Sharoni, 1995). Her discourse has been used since the 1930s against the fight of the Israeli apartheidic control. She states; ‘I say to the Arab leaders, Stop sleeping. Stop failing to fulfill your duty (Hasso ,2005). Shame on the Arab armies who are sitting and watching the girls of Palestine fighting while they are asleep. It is intifada until victory’ (Hammer, 2002; Hazboun, 2002; Rubin, 2002). Therefore, though female suicide bombers break the stereotype of women only taking maternal roles, they are still oppressed in the essence that their lives are only significant as myths, and their purpose is more significant in their death. All women that conducted suicide bombings in the second intifada believed that sacrifice was something that they owed to each other as empowerment and breaking sexualised roles, and for their country (Berko,2012).

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Hamas activists such as Dareen Abu ‘Aisheh, opposed Yassin’s former position on women participating in militia, he believed that the woman’s role was to take care of her male relatives and household chores. She justified her suicide bombing as being inspired and empowered by Wafa Idris, instead of merely inflicting terror upon innocent people in order to articulate nationalistic or religious messages. In her video-tape justification of her attack in February of 2002, she stated that women’s roles ‘will not only be confined to weeping over a son, brother, or husband…’ (Awadat, 2002; Hammer, 2002; IslamOnline, 2002; Williams, 2002b).

She used her body as an abjection to articulate that women can be just as destructive and destabilising to political worlds as men can be. However, personally I do not think that suicide bombings result in destabilising the patriarchy, as they can influence more women to think of their worth as higher when they are dead, rather than alive. Khaled is a Palestinian activist, feminist and fighter who comments; “When the religious leaders say that women who make those actions are finally equal to men, I have a problem. Everyone is equal in death—rich, poor, Arab, Jew, Christian, we are all equal. I would rather see women equal to men in life” (Berko,2012). I agree with this stance, as previously mentioned, men are the ones who lead such organisations, conduct such acts and create propaganda to include more women for better publicity (Hasso ,2005).

‘Aisheh additionally stated; “Let Sharon the coward know that every Palestinian woman will give birth to an army of martyrs,” further signifying that their inherent role is to give birth to both males and females whose lives will matter more in their death than they ever did alive (Hasso ,2005). This indicates that inequality between gender is not diminishable when alive, in every-day society, presenting suicide bombings as regressive acts that are rendered useless in destabilising gender-based politics (Sharoni, 1995). Furtheremore, Abu ‘Aisheh’s post-moterm snapshots were emanated throughout Arab media and news channels, her body was constructed as an abject but physical and literal symbol of patriarchy and violence (Berko,2012). She was similarly wearing a white head-scarf with images of the Palestinian flag on her clothing. Additionally she had a poster with an image of the

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Essay on Suicide Bombing: Employment of Female Suicide Bombers. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
“Essay on Suicide Bombing: Employment of Female Suicide Bombers.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
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