Osama Bin Laden used to think a lot about masturbation! No kidding. Sexual frustration among his junior jihadis really concerned the former Al-Qaeda chief, a batch of documents, confiscated from Bin Laden’s Abbottabad home, which were made public by the American government have revealed.
A letter reportedly written by Bin Laden to a senior Al-Qaeda fighter in north Africa has shed light on Bin Laden’s stance on the subject. The terror figurehead reportedly wrote in the letter,
“It pertains to the problem of the brothers who are with you in their unfortunate celibacy and lack of availability of wives for them in the conditions that have been imposed on them. We pray to God to release them. I wrote to Shaykh/Doctor ((Ayman)), [al-Zawahiri], and I consulted with Shaykh ((Abu Yahya)) [al-Libbi].
Dr. Ayman has written us his opinion … As we see it, we have no objection to clarifying to the brothers that they may, in such conditions, masturbate, since this is an extreme case. The ancestors approved this for the community. They advised the young men at the time of the conquest to do so. It has also been prescribed by the legists when needed, and there is no doubt that the brothers are in a state of extreme need.”
So, Bin Laden did believe that jerking off was permissible under “extreme” cases, even as most interpretations of the Quran forbid the sexual practice for both men and women.What could be the reason behind Bin Laden’s “unIslamic edict”, as some would call it?
“…… the sexual torment of jihadis is no laughing matter, and may even help explain the genesis of their violence,” America-based Foreign Policy Magazine noted in an article published on the dilemma of masturbation faced even by senior jihadis.
The FP article notes that, more often that not, jihadists are victims of a dull sexual life. This frustration at lack of finding mating partners boils over and channels out in the form of destructive violent acts they commit. A renowned British biologist, Richard Dawkins, has even gone as far as to claim that not “getting laid” enough explains why terrorists commit violent acts. The Oxford academic reportedly backed his argument by referring to “72 private virgins” that many wannabe jihadists are promised “in heaven” at the time of being radicalised.
“Testosterone-sodden young men too unattractive to get a woman in this world might be desperate enough to go for 72 private virgins in the next.”
The intriguing FP write-up goes on to document the personal lives of chief hijacker during the 9/11 attacks, Egyptian Mohammad Atta, and even the “father” of the global jihadi movement Sayyid Qutb. Records indicate that, for Atta, women were a source of “sin” and “spiritual contamination.” The Egyptian jihadist was even against shaking a woman’s hand, and stated in his will that no woman was allowed to go near his dead body which was to be buried by “good Muslims.”
For Qutb, the jihadist ideologue who inspired the likes of Bin Laden, masturbation was a strict no-go zone for Muslims. The American-educated jihadist was reportedly strictly against sex and mingling of two sexes in public. Analysts over time have attributed the genesis of his radical jihadist ideology to Qutb’s repressed sexual desires. A novelist, Martin Amis, once wrote that Qutb’s unfulfilled sexual desires
“made him very afraid, and also shamed him and dishonoured him, and turned his thoughts to murder.”
A message for all budding jihadists out there, “Go out and have fun.”