Professor Tackles Stereotypes of Women Suicide Bombers
The 22-year-old Palestinian woman had two children: one 18 months, and one 3 1/2. In January 2004, she walked up to a checkpoint in Jerusalem and exploded herself, killing four Israelis and injuring 10 other people.
In a video testimonial recorded before her mission, Reem al-Riyashi explained why she became a suicide bomber: "I hope that the shredded limbs of my body would be shrapnel, tearing Zionists to pieces," she stated. "How often I dreamed, how often I desired to carry out a Shahada-seeking [suicide] operation inside Israel, and by perseverance, and with Allah's grace, my wish was fulfilled as I wanted."
Riyashi, an operative for the Palestinian group Hamas, is one of dozens of female suicide bombers portrayed in a new book, Women Suicide Bombers: Narratives of Violence by Julie Rajan, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers. Published in 2011 by Routledge, the book is the first to challenge the way female suicide bombers are represented in the media in ways that discredit them as political actors.
April 20, 2012 9:21 AM