News emerged a few weeks ago in Arabic media that yet another fatwa had called on practicing Muslim women to travel to Syria and offer their sexual services to the jihadis fighting to overthrow the secularist Assad government and install Islamic law.Reports attribute the fatwa to Saudi sheikh Muhammad al-’Arifi, who, along with other Muslim clerics earlier permitted jihadis to rape Syrian women.
Muslim women prostituting themselves in this case is being considered a legitimate jihad because such women are making sacrifices–their chastity, their dignity–in order to help apparently sexually-frustrated jihadis better focus on the war to empower Islam in Syria.
And it is prostitution–for they are promised payment, albeit in the afterlife. The Koran declares that “Allah has purchased of the believers their persons [their bodies] and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain (Yusuf Ali trans. 9:111).
On the basis of this fatwa, several young Tunisian Muslim girls traveled to Syria to be “sex-jihadis.” Video interviews of distraught parents bemoaning their daughters’ fates are on the Internet, including one of a father and mother holding a picture of their daughter: “She’s only 16–she’s only 16! They brainwashed her!” pleads the father.
Most recently, the Egyptian-based news service Masrawy published a video interview with “Aisha,” one of the Tunisian Muslim girls who went sex-jihading in Syria, only to regret her actions. While in Tunisia, Aisha said she met a Muslim woman who began talking to her about the importance of piety, including wearing the hijab; she then went on to talk about traveling to Syria to help the jihadis “fight and kill infidels” and make Allah’s word supreme, adding that “women who die would do so in the way of Allah and become martyrs and enter paradise.” (According to mainstream Islamic teaching, dying in jihad is the only guaranteed way to avoid hell.)
Aisha eventually came to the conclusion that she was being exploited in the name of religion and left.
While news that Muslim girls in hijabs are prostituting themselves in the name of Islam may surprise some, Islamic clerics regularly issue fatwas permitting forbidden things–so long as they help the jihad. For instance, not only did the original “underwear bomber” Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri hide explosives in his rectum to assassinate Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Nayef–they met in 2009 after the 22-year-old Asiri “feigned repentance for his jihadi views”