Daily Mail (London), March 13, 2001
Al-Qaeda has launched a women’s magazine that mixes beauty and fashion tips with advice on suicide bombings.
Dubbed ‘Jihad Cosmo’, the glossy magazine’s front cover features the barrel of a sub-machine gun next to a picture a woman in a veil.
There are exclusive interviews with martyrs’ wives, who praise their husbands’ decisions to die in suicide attacks.
The slick, 31-page Al-Shamikha magazine–meaning The Majestic Woman–has advice for singletons on ‘marrying a mujahideen’.
Readers are told it is their duty to raise children to be mujahideen ready for jihad.
And the ‘beauty column’ instructs women to stay indoors with their faces covered to keep a ‘clear complexion’.
They should ‘not go out except when necessary’ and wear a niqab for ‘rewards by complying with the command of Allah Almighty’.
A woman called Umm Muhanad hails her husband for his bravery after his suicide bombing in Afghanistan.
And another article urges readers to give their lives for the Islamist cause.
It advises: ‘From martyrdom, the believer will gain security, safety and happiness.’
More traditional content for a women’s magazine includes features on the merits of honey facemasks, etiquette, first aid and why readers should avoid ‘towelling too forcibly’.
A trailer for the next issue promises tips on skin care–and how to wage electronic jihad.
The first issue’s editorial explains that the magazine’s goal is to educate women and involve them in the war against the enemies of Islam.
It says: Because women constitute half of the population–and one might even say that they are the population since they give birth to the next generation–the enemies of Islam are bent on preventing the Muslim woman from knowing the truth about her religion and her role, since they know all too well what would happen if women entered the field of jihad.
‘The nation of Islam needs women who know the truth about their religion and about the battle and its dimensions and know what is expected of them.’
The publication is being distributed online by the same Al-Qaeda media wing behind Inspire, a similarly slick magazine that encourages young Muslims in the West to commit terrorist atrocities.
JJames Brandon at anti-extremism think tank Quilliam, said: ‘Al-Qaeda see how effective magazines are at pushing the ideals of western culture and want to try the same thing.
‘As a result they have come up with a jihadist’s version of Cosmopolitan magazine.’