[Malika El Aroud] calls herself a female holy warrior for Al Qaeda. She insists that she does not disseminate instructions on bomb-making and has no intention of taking up arms herself. Rather, she bullies Muslim men to go and fight and rallies women to join the cause.
“It’s not my role to set off bombs — that’s ridiculous,” she said in a rare interview. “I have a weapon. It’s to write. It’s to speak out. That’s my jihad. You can do many things with words. Writing is also a bomb.”
Perhaps not ideally, but a popular sentiment these days. And how did Mrs. El Aroud come to her calling?
Ms. El Aroud began her rise to prominence because of a man in her life. Two days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, her husband carried out a bombing in Afghanistan that killed the anti-Taliban resistance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud at the behest of Osama bin Laden. Her husband was killed, and she took to the Internet as the widow of a martyr.
Which is to say: by glorious association with someone who blew himself up in another nation’s civil war at the behest of the foreign patron of an unpopular and doomed regime. Warblogging, while sordid, must be considered an improvement. I used to think that world peace could be attained if people would agree to settle all military disputes through video games – all the excitement and trash talk of war, without the unpleasant bits. The downside of this plan was that the world would be ruled by 9-year-olds – assuming that would be, in fact, a downside, or even a change. Perhaps instead we can achieve peace through internet wanking, channeling one’s frustration, xenophobia, and sense of purposelessness into a fantasy world of soaring rhetoric and clashing civilizations and supping of the Funyons of Victory! I knew this was a different kind of war!