A new video is circulating on the Internet showing Sheikh Abdullah al-Muhaysini, a Saudi cleric in Syria affiliated with al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, sending out young Muslims to die in the battle for Aleppo with the promise of 72 virgins who are so beautiful that they can simply spit in the sea and turn it sweet. They also apparently release perfume when you hug them. There are many Muslims who insist that the 72 virgin claim is a myth started by anti-Islamic forces.
We have previously seen clerics describing these virgins as “pure, unblemished, menstraution-free, free of feces, urine, phlegm, children” and even translucent.
Muhaysini is another extremist export from Saudi Arabia. The Quran refers to such houris in similar terms and also refers to young boys of “perpetual freshness” and as “fair as virgin pearls.” Clerics have previously seized on passages to assure suicide bombers and soldiers of the rewards of their sacrifices. This video shows just how creepy such pitches can be.
The situation in Aleppo has been rapidly declining for ISIS and its allies with bombings and food shortages. These pitches of translucent virgins may be all that extremists like Muhaysini have to offer. However, the success of ISIS and extreme Islamic sects have been to deny outside exposure to opposing ideas while feeding recruits (often with little or no secular education) a steady diet of Islamic teachings and sex-infused paradisal fantasies. However, not only do many Muslims reject such extremist views, but some experts insist that this is all a miss interpretation of the word “raisins” — a serious potential error for those in the audience with Muhaysini. I expect that finding 72 raisins after the Battle for Aleppo may be a tad disappointing.
Many Muslim scholars insist that the claim of 72 virgins is a myth started by anti-Islamic writers — not the Koran. Yet, there are videotapes like the one below (assuming the translation is accurate) and stories of the virgin pitch being made to Muslim soldiers.
While I obviously cannot speak for the translation, here is the video tape: