16 women have been sentenced to Iranian prison by the Iranian judiciary system, the “Islamic Revolutionary Court.” According to an Iranian news outlet, they were charged with traveling to Syria and receiving “terrorist training” before returning to Iran. They will reportedly have to serve their sentence in prison, as well as pay Iran any money received from ISIL salary.

The Iranian government is in direct conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and frequently designates them as a terrorist organization. Many of their officials claim that ISIL is not a true version of Islam, despite the fact that they too are a fundamentalist, strictly religious regime — they are just separate from ISIL in many ideologies.

A huge difference lies in the fact that ISIL is decidedly anti-Shi’ite, which makes up 90-95% of the Iranian population, according to the CIA World Factbook. In the world of ISIL Muslim extremists, a Shi’ite is still an infidel and they have felt justified in killing many. Some call the Shi’ites “rejectionists,” and some Shi’ites may say the same about them.

An Iranian Shi’ite cleric speaks to women mourners during a ceremony at Sadat Akhavi Mosque in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. | AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi

Author’s insight:

The use of women in combat is a hot-button topic in the United States, but the reality for our women in the military is far removed from the usage of women in combat roles in fundamentalist Muslim groups or nations. The worlds are completely different.