Several months ago two Austrian teens became famous when they fled their homes for ISIS controlled territory in Syria. Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, would reportedly love the chance to return home to Austria, but are apparently unsure if they would now be welcome.
The girls fled Austria at the urging of messages preached at their local mosque. Clerics there told the girls that the only way to know peace was to go to Syria and be a part of something greater – a holy war. Around the same time the girls became more vocal in school about their lifestyle and about their belief that jihad was a just and right response to the non-Muslim world.
All of this has apparently changed, because Austrian media is now reporting that the girls have somehow made contact with their families in Austria, and are now pleading for help to get home.
But reports also said the teens don’t feel they can flee because too many people now associate them with ISIS savagery.
“The main problem is about people coming back to Austria,” said Austrian Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck. “Once they leave, it is almost impossible.”
ISIS has worked hard to attract girls from all over the world to their cause in Syria and Iraq. Reports are plentiful of young girls from all over Europe running away to Syria to join the jihad. However, there are also many reports of the unhappy results of these actions.
A 15-year-old French girl named Nora, the daughter of Moroccan immigrants, was lured by Syria through Facebook, according to her brother Foad.
She has said she wants to come home, and Foad traveled to Syria — but he was not allowed to leave with her.
“As soon as they manage to snare a girl, they do everything they can to keep her,” Foad said. “Girls aren’t there for combat, just for marriage and children. A reproduction machine.”
I suspect that Austria will welcome these girls back. However, if they’ve actually been converted to the philosophies and beliefs of ISIS… this may be a very dangerous decision in deed. That is the problem that many of these runaways may not consider before fleeing abroad… if they do one day wish to return, their communities may never fully trust them again. ISIS has made clear that those who do not convert should be killed as infidels. If these kids carry that belief back to their home nations they could choose to spread the violence of ISIS back to Europe.
The decision to welcome back these two young girls may be much harder than it seems at first.
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