• Sarah Small
My thesis contributes to the research on how the security issue of returning ISIL brides contribute to norm creation within Norway trough the following research formulation;
“How is the ruling within the case of Sumaira Ghafoor contributing to the creation of a new legal norm in Norway where ISIL brides are being regarded as participants and complicit in terror”?
ISIL has since its resurrection actively recruited women to expand the Caliphate and create a functioning organization. Many women were as a result of a successful recruitment radicalized and therefore left their home country for the benefit of ISIL. Traditional gender roles apply within the Radical Islam practise and women who were not married upon their arrival was forced to marry for the benefit of the male fighter. ISIL brides are a reference to the young women carrying out the supportive role of being a housewife to and raise children for ISIL fighters. Many of those young women who once left their home country to marry an ISIL fighter now wants to return, creating a juridical challenge in regard to their rights. Sumaira Ghafoor is the first Norwegian woman who has been sentenced for participation to terror for being a wife and mother, indicating a change within the interpretation of the concept of participation and also within the juridical gender perspective. The sentencing implies that there is a violation to the regulatory compliance, hence why the courts ruling in the case of Ghafoor is contributing to norm creation in relation to the role of ISIL brides being participants in terror.
For the purpose of producing a credible research I have followed a legal research methodology using the technique of framing to show how negotiation of rules contribute to norm creation and to advance the common understanding of what is believed to be the appropriate behaviour in regard to be a wife and mother under the context of ISIL. For a norm to be created the norm has to be acknowledged and adopted within the domestic context, to why I have applied the two theories, Norm Diffusion by Finnemore and Sikkink and Norm Translation by Zwingel. The two theories presents different approaches to norm creation, hence why both have contributed to my findings in relation to the courts’ influence on norm creation.
My findings reveal how there is no binding legal norm or rule yet, however, the court contribute to norm creation through its judicial review of domestic law and interpretation of the concept of participation in relation to the environment. The case of Ghafoor has been tried in both Oslo District Court and Borgarting Court of Appeals and will later this year also be tried in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has the ability to set an example for future cases to follow through a precedent, in which the norm of ISIL brides as participants and complicit to the terror organisation might become a binding rule. Key findings also include my assumption that we see a change within the gender perspective in judicial agencies. The courts’ interpretation of how being a wife and mother can be seen as complicit to terror indicates a change within gender approaches to prosecution, whereas women is no longer necessarily seen as victims of terror or as subordinated to the male fighter.
Concluding, the court is contributing to norm creation and Norway is moving towards a new rule of ISIL brides being regarded as participants in terror, whereas the context of ISIL together with a gender-sensitive approach to the concept of participation legitimate the sentencing of wives supporting and raising children with terrorist fighters.

Publication date31 May 2022
Number of pages46
ID: 471714062