06/10/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Female Al-Qaida Demand To Be Acknowledged

Muslim extremist women are challenging al-Qaida's refusal to include - or at least acknowledge - women in its ranks, in an emotional debate that gives rare insight into the gender conflicts lurking beneath one of the strictest strains of Islam.

In response to a female questioner, al-Qaida No. 2 leader Ayman Al-Zawahri said in April that the terrorist group does not have women. A woman's role, he said on the Internet audio recording, is limited to caring for the homes and children of al-Qaida fighters.