What The Times failed to ask the British young woman who joined the Jihad and married an ISIS fighter14 February 2019
Is he right to assume so (and to state this publicly) without properly probing her current ideological thinking (sic)?
Lloyd says he spoke to her for more than an hour in the safety of a Syrian rescue / refugee camp. To understand the way Shamima Begum, aged 19, now thinks, and how indoctrinated she is, it would have been sensible to ask her a few simple yet significant questions:
- The first two babies you gave birth to as a result of your marrying an Isis fighter have both died. Do you blame yourself for bringing them to life in a war-zone? Do you think they are victims of your wrong choices?
- Or do you blame the West and the ‘enemies of Islam’ for their deaths?
- If any jihadi brides are ‘martyrs for the cause of Allah’ then do you subscribe to the hard-line Islamist view that women ‘martyrs’ will be promoted in Heaven to a far higher status?
Yes. ‘Promoted’ … I once asked the imam running the mosque built right opposite the Church of the Nativity (revered by Christians and Muslims as the birthplace of Jesus Christ) to answer a question that had been bothering me. The first female suicide bomber exploded, killing herself and others, in 2002. Hamas, who at first reserved such ‘heroic’ activities to men, had started using female suicide bombers. (Stencilled portraits of one of these ‘female martyrs’ still adorn walls in front of the United Nations-provided school that the first suicide bomber young woman attended, in Bethlehem’s Deheishe Camp.)
What rewards lie in store for a female, I asked the imam, instead of the seventy virgins supposedly assigned to a male jihad ‘martyr’?
“Ah Mr Martin, you clearly fail to understand the beauty of Islam,” Sheikh Khaled Tafish, who is also a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, told me. “This act of martyrdom is viewed as so great that Allah turns her from a woman into a man.
“So naturally she can claim all the benefits, including the 70 black-eyed maidens for her enjoyment.”
At least one of the other three young women from the same south London school is dead. The other two are missing. In what we must assume to be her sick, twisted way of thinking, maybe Ms Begum thinks her dead fellow-British and fellow-foreign Isis girls and women, are also getting these same rewards.
Or maybe she should not be too disappointed. Medieval commentators do not refer to this transformation by Allah from woman to man. But they do have some other strong enticements to offer.
Some modern clerics argue that in heaven, husbands never grow bored with their wives, even with so many huris on tap. That may explain why some would-be female suicide bombers have spoken of becoming “chief of the 72 virgins, the fairest of the fair.”
The Quran notes that all martyrs (apparently including female martyrs) will have the services of huris, or maidens “of modest gaze, whom neither man nor jinni will have touched before them.”
Respected commentator Al-Tirmidhi said in a hadith that every man will have six dozen huris in heaven, but very few commentators enumerated the rewards for women. Ninth-century scholar Al-Tabarani did argue that women will be reunited with their husbands in the next world, and those who had multiple husbands can pick the best one to be their eternal spouse.
Other commentators added that a woman who never married can marry any man she wants in paradise.
From the 9th to the 12th centuries Muslim scholars described Paradise as a place of sensual delights — for men. They debated whether men remained married to their wives in Heaven, whether they could have sex with the virgins, and whether the heavenly virgins had anuses (some said there was no need for elimination in the afterlife). But it seems there was general agreement that their sexual parts still functioned.
There was disagreement on the number of virgins assigned to each man. While Al-Tirmidhi said it was 72, Mulla Ali Qari, an 11th-century imam, counted 70 virgins and two human wives. Imam Al-Bayhaqi said Allah was more generous, granting men 500 wives, 4,000 virgins, and 8,000 previously married women.
Is Ms Begum perhaps a trifle envious or sad, or feeling guilty, that she chose to flee the final battle for an ISIS-held town – while her two fellow-south London girls did stay till the end. Is she feeling guilty that she too was not ‘martyred’ and so does not yet merit to enjoy this ‘marvelous Paradise’?