Quitting Al Qaeda

Several months ago, 43 women from a town an hour north of Baghdad turned themselves in as members of the Al Khansaa all-female suicide bombers wing of Al Qaeda and publicly renounced the terrorist group, Newsweek reports. Ironically, the women's defection has raised the standing of the area's tribal leaders, some of whom probably helped recruit the women into the Qaeda network to begin with. Quitting Al Qaeda hasn't been easy, as their community subjects them to harassment and ostracizes them. A local official told his wife not to go near them, and the teen daughter of one former Khansaa member was expelled for school for her mother's sins. The women are collectively forbidden from veiling their faces so they'll be recognizable on the street, and the neighbor of at least one woman is filing continuous complaints against her in hopes she'll move away.