Monday, 26 October 2009

Strange Sex Tales From The Muslim World

I'd rather see this...

...than this.

One of the charges that Muslims - whether "moderate" or "Islamist" - and even non-Muslim liberals often like to throw at the West is that it is a place of sexual decadence and immorality. From pornography to the increasing sexualisation of the Western media, the claim is that all this sexual libertinism offends the sensibilities of sprititually-minded, morally pure Muslims, and this causes them to hate us so much that they strap bombs to themselves in order to kill us, or fly planes into buildings, killing themselves along with thousands ofinnocent people, out of pure rage.

This argument is completely silly, of course, but as Daniel Pipes demonstrates this month, Muslims are in no position to be lecturing us Westerners on the subject of sexual morality. Islamic ideals and cultural norms in the Muslim world often lead to bizzarre and often disturbing sexual escapades, which Pipes has diligently documented in the link above. A few highlights are pasted below. I know where I'd rather live.

Sanctioned rape of Iranian virgins before their execution: An unnamed member of Iran's paramilitary Basij, currently married with children, explained to a Jerusalem Post reporter that he joined the Basij at 16 years when his mother took him "to a Basiji station and begged them to take me under their wing because I had no one and nothing foreseeable in my future. My father was martyred during the war in Iraq and she did not want me to get hooked on drugs and become a street thug. I had no choice." Then came a description of his role raping young girls:

He said he had been a highly regarded member of the force, and had so "impressed my superiors" that, at 18, "I was given the 'honor' to temporarily marry young girls before they were sentenced to death." In the Islamic Republic it is illegal to execute a young woman, regardless of her crime, if she is a virgin, he explained. Therefore a "wedding" ceremony is conducted the night before the execution: The young girl is forced to have sexual intercourse with a prison guard - essentially raped by her "husband."

"I regret that, even though the marriages were legal," he said. Why the regret, if the marriages were "legal?"

"Because," he went on, "I could tell that the girls were more afraid of their 'wedding' night than of the execution that awaited them in the morning. And they would always fight back, so we would have to put sleeping pills in their food. By morning the girls would have an empty expression; it seemed like they were ready or wanted to die. I remember hearing them cry and scream after [the rape] was over," he said. "I will never forget how this one girl clawed at her own face and neck with her finger nails afterwards. She had deep scratches all over her."


Afghan president favors law that "legalises rape within marriage": As elections in Afghanistan loom in August, President Hamid Karzai appears to be looking for Islamist votes by supporting a law, article 132 of which states that women must obey their husband's sexual demands and that a man can expect to have sex with his wife at least "once every four nights" when traveling, unless she is ill. The final document is not yet published but it also appears to forbid wives from leaving home without their husbands' permission, to grant custody of children to fathers and grandfathers only, and to approve child marriages. According to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), "Article 132 legalises the rape of a wife by her husband." (March 22, 2009) Aug. 16, 2009 update: The BBC reports that the bill, only slightly modified from its initial terms, has passed and become law. It also indicates that husbands may withhold food from wives who refuse their sexual favors.


Wet-nursing breaks up marriages: Readers may remember getting a good laugh two years ago when Izzat Atiya of Egypt's Al-Azhar University came up with a hair-brained way for men and women to work together by having the women feed their male colleagues "directly from her breast" at least five times. This act, his fatwa announced, would accord with a hadith and create maternal-child relations between the two, thus precluding any sexual activity between them and permitting them to be alone together at work. "Breast feeding an adult puts an end to the problem of the private meeting, and does not ban marriage. A woman at work can take off the veil or reveal her hair in front of someone whom she breastfed."


Pleasure-marriage contract with a 9-year-old girl: Rami 'Aleiq, the former head of the Hizbullah Students Union at the American University in Beirut, gave an interview about himself to Rotana Music TV on August 25, 2008, and which MEMRI has today made available...

The interviewer asks: "How did you ever dare to sign a pleasure-marriage contract with a nine-year-old girl?" and 'Aleiq replies: "In our culture, in order to be able to touch a girl or a woman, there must be a contract of pleasure-marriage."

The interviewer notes: "We are talking about a nine-year-old girl ...," prompting 'Aleiq to justify his actions:

Sure. In Islam, and this is what we were taught, a girl is mature from the age of nine. This is true with regard to Sunnis as well as Shiites. You are focusing on Shia Islam, because I am a Shiite, but according to religious jurisprudence, a girl is mature at the age of nine. This is where we got this idea. I was a child, and so was she, so I was not allowed to touch her, if I didn't form with her the kind of relation that permitted this.


Creating female suicide bombers through systematic rape: From Iraq comes news of the televized prison confession of Samira Ahmed Jassim al-Azzawi, a shopkeeper born in 1958 and the mother of four, telling about her alleged role in recruiting more than 80 young Iraqi women as suicide bombers, 28 of whom actually went on to carry out attacks.

Her method of recruitment? Organizing their rape in order to exploit the deep shame associated with rape in Muslim society in order to push the victims to forfeit their lives as suicide bombers, thereby somewhat redeeming their lost honor.

The Daily Mail quotes Jassim: "I was able to persuade them to become martyrs. Many of the women were broken, depressed, especially those who were raped." The paper goes on to explain that "Jassim's role was to manipulate these rape victims - persuading them they would be better off dead. And once the women had volunteered to become suicide bombers, she delivered them back to insurgents ready for death."

Al-Jazeera quotes Jassim telling about one specific victim, Amal, a teacher who had problems with her husband and his family:

I met Amal and we stayed together for more than two weeks. I talked to her until I convinced her she was in a bad situation - as she had been treated badly by her husband and brothers. She was mentally exhausted. I then took her to see my contacts, then received her back from them at the same delivery place. This is where she then blew herself up".

The New York Times focuses on an August 2007 suicide bombing that killed 12:

Jassim recounted the fate of a woman she called only Um Huda, whom she had led to a neighborhood bank that served as her rendezvous point. "When I was talking to her, she was not answering or looking at me," Ms. Jassim said. "She was mumbling verses of the Koran." "I got her to the bank and left her there," she went on, unemotionally. "She detonated herself at a police station in Muqdadiya."

The Times of London provides more details about the modus operandi of Umm al-Mu'minin, "the Mother of the Believers,":

Jassim is heard in the video apparently confessing to training a female bomber who attacked a police station in Diyala. "I was introduced to her, I began talking to her," she said. She had to talk to one elderly woman several times before persuading her to blow herself up at a bus station, she added. … US officials have said that recruiters often pick on vulnerable women whose husbands have been killed in the violence that consumed Iraq since the invasion. Some even marry the woman and then convert her into a suicide bomber.

Jassim's arrest is no small matter, for female suicide bombers have been a major tactic for al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Sunnah, and other terrorist groups in Iraq to get through the security forces. Checkpoints are typically run by male guards and social imperatives prevent them from frisking women, permitting the latter to carry out operations, especially as their long black robes offer plenty of space to conceal explosives.

Jassim faces the death penalty if found guilty. (February 6, 2009)

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