There are reports the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is looking for recruits among Hong Kong’s Indonesian domestic helpers.
ISIS recruiters have passed out numerous propaganda pamphlets and have appeared in person at outdoor gatherings of Indonesian domestic workers to try and get them to sign up. The pamphet shows women covered from head to toe holding an ISIS flag, and says recruits will be sent to Xinjiang. In Indonesian, the pamphlet reads: “The way you normally dress is not proper; instead, covering yourself up is proper.” The pamphlet also contains Chinese text that reads, “There is no God but Allah,” and “Allah is the true messenger.”
Indonesian domestic workers say there has been a recent surge of ISIS recruitment, but it’s not the first time they’ve showed up. One person unwilling to be identified said, “Two years ago, they were already recruiting for ISIS, but at that time it was sporadic with just one or two people. Now they have increased, and will even go out to our outdoor gatherings to do their recruiting.”
This has caused fear and panic among Indonesian domestic workers who are worried for their families if they turn the recruiters down. The same unnamed person continued by saying, “This organization is very different from the others, very independent and mysterious. Now, many Indonesian maids are very worried. I myself am Muslim, and am very afraid.”
Hui Hiutung, a representative for a domestic helpers’ group in Hong Kong, is very concerned over this growing trend and what it could mean for Hong Kong as a whole. “(I am) very worried that some of these foreign domestic workers will enter this organization. This could influence their emotional state,” said Hui, adding, “With children under their care, I’m afraid that their emotional stability will be affected from joining this cause.“