‘Sexual jihad’ draws young Muslim women to Syria

  • Young Muslim women are being persuaded by preachers to leave for Syria.
  • Their goal is to offer themselves to Islamist fighters as sex slaves.

 

It’s an extremely delicate – even taboo – issue, but it is the subject of considerable political manipulation. For several months now, there has been talk of young Muslim women choosing to join up with and support fighters in Syria by engaging in sexual relations with them.

 

For many observers, this is nothing more than propaganda spread by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad to discredit the rebellion they have been battling. The recent first-hand account of Rawan, a 16-year-old Syrian girl, in which she described to a television channel supportive of Assad how she had taken part in ‘sexual jihad’ after having been raped by her father, has been heavily criticized by the opposition and human rights advocates. Some have claimed the story is a set-up, while others have denounced the idea of making a teenager reveal such private details in public.

 

But a few days ago, the Tunisian interior minister, Lofti Bin Jeddo, stated in front of members of parliament that young Tunisian women had indeed left for Syria to take part in “jihad al-nikah” (sexual holy war); in other words, to satisfy the sexual needs of Islamist combatants opposed to Assad: They have sexual intercourse with 20,30,100 jihadists. After so many sexual encounters, they come back pregnant.”

 

The “jihad al-nikah” is an invention by certain Salafist preachers, who believe that having sex during temporary marriages, which can last from a few minutes to a few hours before they are annulled, is not actually a sin but a legitimate form of holy war that will lead to paradise.

 

The pixelated face of Aïcha, 20 years or age, a resident of Monastir in Tunisia, told Tounesna TV that a foreign female preacher aged around 40 had appeared at her university one day offering free religion lessons.

 

Aïcha later found herself with 18 other young women, aged 18 on average, in the home of the preacher, who first tried to convince them to wear the niqab, a face veil that leaves only the eyes uncovered. She then told them they should give up attending university, as only the Koran was worthy of study.

 

Finally, concentrating on the most receptive individuals, she explained that they needed to travel to Syria to participate in sexual jihad. Aïcha was part of a group that was scheduled to make the trip in the spring, but not convinced she was making the right choice, she spoke to her mother, who dissuaded her from participating.

 

The local media has floated the figure of 100-odd girls who have already left Tunisia, but there is also talk of teenagers from other countries, in particular a 16-year-old Belgian, who is said to have departed for Syria. The subject is extremely delicate and nobody in the Muslim community in Belgium is willing to speak openly about it.

 

“Families already find it very difficult to discuss the problem of young men leaving to fight over there, but the female issue is totally taboo,” explains an informed source. “Unfounded reports are going around about numerous girls who have apparently left. It’s a real tragedy: these young women just want to matter, and as they struggle to carve a niche for themselves in this society, they fall back on religion, and when enthusiastic preachers put forward this idea of jihad, some accept.”

 

Among the girls, there appear to be two distinct groups: the ultra-religious who view the mission as some sort of calling, and those that have already had sexual relations, who are told to regard it as a way of redeeming themselves. “Videos of the young Tunisian girl and of parents crying about their daughter having left the country are circulating on Facebook, but when it comes to the topic of immigration in Belgium, nobody dares to post negative comments criticizing these practices,” continues our source. “That would be frowned upon.”

 

VÉRONIQUE KIESEL

This entry was posted in Non classé. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to ‘Sexual jihad’ draws young Muslim women to Syria

  1. Paul says:

    “That would be frowned upon”. That is the problem with Muslims: they prefer their religion to our country. They should be forced to account. Choose! Opt for one, and assume the consequences. It is our duty, as Europeans, to exert such pressure upon them as to bear results. Anything less is mere cowardice, a total lack of social responsibility on our part. We have come so far as to stoop low, our speech muzzled by “politically correct” politicians and laws instituted by these same politicians. These politicians should be voted out of existence and replaced by others more representative of the will of the people. Sound old fashioned? History repeats itself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>