MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Life is "safe" for single women in Syria and no one will force you to get married unless you want to, a self-claimed wife of an Islamic State (IS) fighter writes on her Tumblr blog.
"If you choose not to marry, you'll stay in an all-sisters [hostel]. There are plenty activities there that you can do with other sisters. You'll be given monthly allowance. Insha'Allah you're safe," writes "Shams", who claims to be a 26-year-old doctor from Malaysia, married to an IS militant.
In her blog, Diary of a Muhajirah, "Shams" writes that she traveled to Syria to join the jihadist group in February. After two months in the war-torn country, during which she stayed in a women's hostel, her housemate arranged for her to get married. She is currently pregnant with the couple's first child.
Women are allowed to study and work, she writes, and IS leaders are working on more programs for women so "the sisters can benefit more". "Shams" herself claims to be working as a physician.
According to her blog, IS members do not have to pay for rent, electricity, water or medical assistance. Muslims do not pay taxes and people are handed out monthly groceries, such as pasta, grains, canned goods and eggs.
Describing her life with an IS militant, she states that seeing her husband leave for battle for the first time was "the most heartbreaking thing".
"Eleven days after we got married, he told me that he is off for an operation . . . He noticed my gloomy face and said this to me, 'Habibty, I'm married to Jihad before I'm married to you. Jihad is my first wife, and you're my second. I hope you understand.' He kissed my forehead and left."
The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a Sunni jihadist group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories under its control later that month.
The extremist group has forced tens of thousands of non-Muslims to flee their homes. Muslim leaders worldwide and even Al Qaeda, from which the group originated, have renounced IS for its brutal tactics. The United Nations has characterized ethnic and religious cleansing carried out by IS as crimes against humanity.