Should We Profile Women Who Join ISIS?

Vice has a story profiling 25 young women who have elected to join the Islamic State or similar Islamist movements. If you're an FBI agent or someone similar, it makes sense to read these profiles carefully and look for patterns. Trying to figure out how radicalization works is a big deal, and one on which we have made almost no progress. Indeed, our best ideas so far have failed dramatically.

For most Americans, though, I wonder if learning about the lives of these women is the right thing to do. Have they not elected to join a movement in which they will be rendered literally faceless in the public space? Who cares who they are, or what they wanted? Refusing to see them is honoring their personal and individual choice about who they wanted to be. It is at once an act of respect they may not deserve, and a fitting and proper punishment.

No comments: