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Where are my 72 virgins?????

22 July 2005

Inspired by a link to an article in The Guardian posted by Minispace I remembered a conversation I hear on BBC Radio 5 Live. Presenter Nicky Campbell was talking to an Imam about the suicide bombs in London and how martyrs of the Islam apparently get 72 virgins, an eternal erection, sofas made of jewels and wine that does not make you drunk when they get to heaven. Nicky suggested that people who want to be martyrs must be sexually frustrated if they want to get their hands on these virgins so badly that they are willing to blow themselves up for it.

Of course the Imam was highly offended and accused Campbell of trivialising the Islam. But I thought he had a point. Of course he was putting it bluntly but the Koran describes heaven as a highly sensuous place where there are women and sex and alcohol as much as the martyr could possibly want. So if a martyr says he just wants to get to heaven, he is effectively saying that he just wants to get laid and get rich. Bit materialistic I think.

The question is of course if the sexual rewards are the ultimate goal of the freaks or if they are just a nice added extra bonus for being a martyr. The piece in The Guardian actually tries to explain that the whole notion of the 72 virgins might be a matter of mistranslation. That if you translate the Koran in a different way (i.e. in the way language was spoken back in the days it was written and not just in plain Arabic), the promise is actually just of wine and jewellery and angels. Not of virgins.

Interesting thought: So many men might have died only to be offered a glass of wine instead of a virgin…….

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