Sex Jihad: Complement to ‘Holy War’ or hoax?

As the insurgency in Syria catches steam, more controversies begin to surface.

It has been reported that many young jihadis from neighbouring countries and around the Muslim world are pouring in to Syria, to help the rebel fighters bring Assad down.

Assad, the dictator who took over the mantle from his father, has ruled Syria with an iron fist. Because of decades of oppression and repressive rule, many disenchanted Syrians, riding the wave of the Arab Spring, took to the streets. Assad decided to quell the uprising with force.

The civil war in Syria is protracted and it seems the rebels, too, need impetus to carry on fighting in the “name of God” against a dictator. The Tunisian media reported in September that a stream of young women have crossed into Syria to fight alongside the men.

Its is believed that young women left for Syria not wielding guns, but following a religious edict to sleep with the “battle-weary militants” in order to boost their morale.

It’s claimed that the sex jihad, known as “Jihad al-nikah” in Arabic, is widely practiced in other Arab countries as well, where women travel to the combat zone to provide “comfort and sexual favours” to the fighters. Some extremist jihadis deem the practice legitimate as it complements the holy war.

According to Lofti Ben Jeddou, a Tunisian minister, these young women “have sexual relations with 20, 30, 100″ militants.

He added that “after the sexual liaisons they have there in the name of ‘jihad al-nikah,’ they come home pregnant.”

There are no actual figures to ascertain how many women have, if any, have traveled to Syria, but the Tunisian media and government claim that hundreds of women have done so.

Umar Tariq, a religion student, was not surprised by the charges and said the problem could be linked to “extremism and growing polarisation across Muslim countries.”

He further added that where “extremism has reached phenomenal heights in radicalized societies, the governments have failed to monitor the activities in religious schools and thus brainwashing goes unnoticed and slowly pervades the society.”

Aisha Wasif, a self-proclaimed feminist, was shocked at how the women were reportedly as means to an end. “Once again, it is the women falling prey to sadistic form of pleasure. The Croats raped innocent women in Bosnia and no one got punished for perpetrating a war crime, and now this. So instead of blowing it aside as a hoax, the world community should push for an investigation into the matter to why and how these innocent women are being used as objects for sexual pleasures.”

Liberal Muslims such as Ahmed Ahmed are also alarmed by this growing extremism in the name of Islam. “I have heard that the Tunisian girls are swapped between 20, 30, and 100 rebels and they come back pregnant, all in the name of sexual jihad. But what’s more alarming is that we are silent doing nothing and standing idle.”

Added Haseeb Hadi, “I personally don’t know such families whose daughters went to offer sex in support of the militants, but what I do know is that these women were brainwashed to offer themselves in sex in obedience to religious edicts that emanated from Syria and Saudi Arabia.”

According to Harris Khan, “The opinion in Islam is divided on the issue of ‘temporary marriage’, but one thing’s for sure that these foreign-funded fighters who pretend to be fighting to protect Islam are basically basing their religious edicts on the rule that temporary marriage is allowed to meet sexual needs when necessity arises.”

He added that, “I am not surprised that these half-witted Jihadis have once again used religion as an excuse not only to brainwash young innocent girls, but them going to this extent to relieve their earthly desires show exactly why Islam has been receiving negative press in the West.”

But others blow it off as a hoax and propaganda to malign Islam.

“This is nothing more than a propaganda against Islam. If this is true, then why we don’t have a concrete number and evidence to show how many girls came back pregnant?” asked an infuriated Ali Hadi.

“On the one hand, we have Muslim Brotherhood denying giving such religious edict, and on the other hand we have the Tunisian government launching a full-on smear campaign against them. If the Tunisian government has proof, they should bring it forward, instead to mudding Islam and jihadis fighting in Syria for a noble cause,” said Mian Hameed.

Whether Islam allows sexual Jihad remains to be discovered, but the issue has further plunged the region into more controversy, as Tunisians blame the government for firing up the issue for political gains.


Politics aficionado with a keen eye on current affairs.

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