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Wednesday, November 23, 2005
[Blowing up for sex] MEMRI: Reformist Saudi Author: Religious Cassettes Advocate Jihad by Emphasizing Martyr's Sexual Rewards

Special Dispatch - Saudi Arabia/Jihad & Terrorism Studies Project
November 23, 2005
No. 1032

Reformist Saudi Author: Religious Cassettes Advocate Jihad by Emphasizing
Martyr's Sexual Rewards

In a November 15, 2005 article in the Saudi daily Al-Iqtisadiyya, Sa'ad
Al-Sowayan, a reformist Saudi researcher and columnist, argued that
religious cassettes, which are widely available in Saudi Arabia, advocate
Jihad by emphasizing the sexual reward awaiting the martyr in Paradise. This
is aimed at tempting teenagers who can find no sexual release in
conservative Arab society. An English translation of the article was
published in the Saudi Gazette on November 17.(1)

The following are excerpts from the translation:

Religious Cassettes Promoting Jihad

"So ubiquitous are the religious cassette shops that they are outnumbered
only by groceries. The bulk of cassettes sold in these stalls are
motivational. On closer scrutiny, you will realize that their contents are
confined to a system of thought that serves to prepare youth to accept its
ideas, yield to them, and adopt its Jihad program.

"These cassettes mostly urge people to carry out Jihad through taking up
arms, without specifying the zero hour or the Jihad battlefield. As such
they advocate Jihad for Jihad's sake. It's a mobilization campaign in which
Jihad becomes a state of mind, a mode of living. They want you to give up
this foul and mean earthly life, renounce worldly pleasures, devote your
life to Jihad, and seek to die in the Jihad battlefield so as to win

Spiritual Martyrdom is Reduced to Jihad for Lust

"The basic Islamic issue - carrying out Da'wa (Islamic propagation), calling
people to Allah, spreading monotheism (Tawheed), security and Islam,
establishing justice, and treating people on equal terms - is reduced to a
marginal matter in comparison to the pleasures in the Hereafter that the
martyr can win, pleasures that supersede worldly pleasures and must be given

"The modern martyr has thus reduced spiritual martyrdom [for the sake of
Allah] to a Jihad for lust, for the utmost pleasure and intoxication a
Nirvana state of mind.

"The Jihad cassette describes the path that must be followed in order to win
martyrdom and deserve the Hoor Al-Een fair females with wide, lovely eyes.
It reduces the lofty objective of spiritual martyrdom to mere lust and a
selfish search for sexual pleasure, regardless of what martyrdom can achieve
for the public interest or for upholding Allah's word.

"In their call for giving up this world in preparation for the hereafter,
and through their description of the martyr's reward - they are trying to
program the mind to accept as principle the idea of committing suicide by
blowing up oneself. Whoever is convinced of the reward of lust awaiting him
will not hesitate to commit suicide: He will seek death with no fear,
focused on the pleasures of the hereafter as compensation for the worldly
pleasures abandoned.

"The sweetest thing for a teenager, especially in a conservative society
like ours, is sex, and the discourse of the religious cassettes is directed
toward these very youngsters in their sexual peak of life. They access these
youth through the Hoor Al-Een, just as how the youth of our time were drawn
to slide pictures of actresses and female singers. So should we not consider
sexual suppression in conservative societies as one of the factors leading
to such deviation?."

A Magical Prescription to Join the Hereafter: Blowing Yourself Up

"You never hear them speaking about worldly matters of so much concern to
the people. The only reform program they offer is for the Hereafter. They
speak as if they - and not the all-forgiving and merciful God - have the
keys to Paradise in their hands. They have a magical prescription with which
you can join their program of the Hereafter; that is, by blowing yourself

"Listen carefully to what these religious cassettes convey and you will find
that the mythical supersedes the religious intent. They have converted this
world to a filthy and mythical place and the Hereafter into a fabled utopia.
They first divide the world into two parts: one belonging to God, which you
are for, and the other to Satan, which you are against. The next step is to
step up the value of the myth and draw the recipient into a world of
mythical thinking in which rational thinking stops and the mind becomes
receptive to suggestions and irrationalism."

Arab Culture Suffers from Sexual Phobia

"Then again, maybe the phenomenon of Jihadists seeking martyrdom in order to
win the Hoor Al-Een is just a symptom of a vein-deep disease within society,
which is ravaging the cultural system. The disease I mean is the sexual
phobia that Arab culture is suffering from. Before the Arabs solve their
problems with their governments or before their governments solve their
problems with terrorism, they must first solve their problem with the other

(1) Al- Iqtisadiyya (Saudi Arabia), November 15, 2005; The Saudi Gazette
(Saudi Arabia), November 17, 2005.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent,
non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle
East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background
information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with
proper attribution.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077
E-Mail: memri@memri.org
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