Last week BuzzFeed broke the story of Ariel Bradley, a 29-year-old woman who was raised in a fundamentalist Christian homeschooling family and is now the wife of an ISIS fighter in Syria. BuzzFeed writes that Ariel’s mother was “prone to religious outbursts” and that the education Ariel received at home was sorely lacking. Ariel ran away from home as a teen and tried out a variety of beliefs in a search for stability and meaning. She got tattoos, tried drugs, and became a socialist and then an atheist. After she got a job at a restaurant run by a Muslim, she began researching Islam and ultimately decided to convert. Not long after this she married a Muslim man living overseas and traveled with him and their two small children to Syria to join ISIS.
The girl apparently has problems and feels alienated, and her parents may be, in part, responsible. However, this is not exactly an iron-clad case against Christian fundamentalism or homeschooling. I hope she eventually acquires some sense. If she survives, at the rate she is going, she will likely experience a few more political and religious conversions during her lifetime.
Praying for her and her family…
Hey, religious liberty…
Converting to Islam is one thing, but joining ISIS with your spouse is quite another.
If she survives, that is.
I’m more concerned about her children. She’s a free agent, but a war zone is no place to raise kids.
It may well have been his idea, and with typical convert zealotry, the poor chick was easily convinced to follow.
Sadly, she has landed in the Mideastern version of the Hotel California: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
But she’s gonna find out sadly, that the Bill of Rights ends 12 miles off the Atlantic coast, and religious freedom is not a goal for her new hosts.
Meanwhile, here in America, her story will be used to attack home-schoolers.
I too was influenced by crazy political ideals relating to the Ireland situation at one point in my life. I came from a broken family, then did the drugs, etc. Almost the same scenario as this, only I didn’t convert my religion.
Maybe home-schooling never gave her a proper feel for her own identity. Hence why she tried so many different life paths. Funny, I don’t usually like David Cameron, however he did deliver a speech recently regarding radicalisation within Islam. He stated the point that out there, there are preachers who preach whilst slightly persuading those who would tend to be vulnerable. This could then develop into said individual to doing their own research online, interpreting more radical views and ultimately end up brain-washed willing to join ISIS and fight the Western world.
One must ask, perhaps if the problems she was having growing up were effectively dealt with at the time, then would she have became an atheist in the first place?
Not trying to imply her parents did a bad job at raising her, any childhood trauma can leave a person growing up feeling lost, not knowing who they are, and ultimately attempting to bury or hide from these problems. Completely filling your mind with radical views and focusing on problems in the Middle-East is certainly one way of forgetting about your past life.
True about her loosing her American rights, but that’s her choice, unless she was manipulated or abused into her situation.
I doubt this will be used to attack homescoolers, though they will try anything I suppose to knock it. Random event.
How so? I’m no supporter of these groups, but if she felt that is where she wanted to go, then that was her choice and her religious liberty. It would be a different thing if she was brainwashed, manipulated, or abused into the group. We can’t be sure that happened in this case.