Expensive Bride Price May Offer Another Lure to Jihad

Some men join dating sites when looking for a wife.

Some other men join terror groups.

In many North African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries, bride price – a kind of reverse dowry in which men must pay to acquire a bride from her family, is skyrocketing. And that may be motivating some men to join terrorist organizations in exchange for the high fees that will make marriage possible.

This was the finding of groundbreaking research published this month in MIT’s International Security journal by Valerie Hudson, George H.W. Bush Chair in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, and Yale University political science doctoral candidate Hilary Matfess. According to a statement from Texas A&M, “the inability to ‘afford’ a wife in a society where marriage is the maker of full adult manhood can be a significant factor in the decision to join in rebellion or terrorism.”

Hudson and Matfess break a lot of new ground. But because little other research is being done, it is unclear how often bride price is a factor for young men lured into jihad. Consequently, effective counter strategies are also unclear.

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About OyiaBrown

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