“When we behead people, we are obeying the Sharia (Islamic) law,” says Italian Catholic woman who converted to Islam and joined ISIS

isis-married1It is news that has stunned Italy. In just a few short years, Fatima Az Zahra, née Maria Giulia Sergio, an educated and articulate young Catholic woman, has converted to Islam, became radicalized and went to join the Islamic Sate (ISIS) in Syria before persuading her extended family to join her.

Fatima Az Zahra, née Maria Giulia Sergio
Fatima Az Zahra, née Maria Giulia Sergio

Independent  After marrying a local Muslim pizza-maker of Moroccan origin, the Naples-born 27-year-old, dubbed “Lady Jihad” by the Italian press, rejected her husband’s moderate brand of Islam and left him for an Albanian, Aldo Kobuzi, who “interpreted the faith in the correct way”, as she told a friend, before traveling to Syria with Mr Kobuzi and his mother in September last year.

Her views changed radically as she embraced the toxic ideology of Islam. “Here we are killing the non-believers in order to expand the Islamic State. We don’t want to be friends with the non-believers, we don’t want to have anything to do with them,” she said on Skype to her family.

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“These are not just idle words, these are obligations… You should see what the Mujahideen do for love of Allah… 15- and 16-year-olds killing 50 non-believers… That’s what we have to do to expand the Islamic State.”

But it is the news that her formerly staunchly Catholic mother, father and sister subsequently converted and were preparing to join her in Syria, before police arrested them on Wednesday this week, that has stunned Italy. In Skype conversations with her family in March, Ms Sergio was heard imploring them to join her and Isis: “It is the perfect state, like paradise”, she said, adding there was “food in abundance”, “healthcare” and “rigid rules even in dress codes”.

Her extended family
Her extended family

Her sister Marianna, 31, appeared to be the keenest to head to the Middle East. Her mother, Assunta Buonfiglio, 60, was eventually persuaded when it was promised that Isis would supply her with a washing machine, La Repubblica reported. Her father, Sergio Sergio, 61, had recently quit his job as the family made plans to flee Italy.

Of Ms Sergio’s family, it appears that only her grandmother had sufficient faculties to resist the offer of life with medieval killers in wartorn Syria. She was described by her jihadist granddaughter as “a non-believer who deserves to be left behind”.

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