Tunisian women who have travelled to Syria to offer themselves to Islamist fighters are returning home pregnant with rebels’ children, it has been revealed.
This according to UK Daily Mail was made known by Tunisian government Interior Minister Lotfi ben Jeddou who told the country’s members of parliament on Thursday that the women, who are waging ‘sexual jihad’, are ‘having sexual relations with 20, 30,100’ men before returning to Tunisia pregnant.
‘After the sexual liaisons they have there in the name of ‘jihad al-nikah’ — (sexual holy war, in Arabic) — they come home pregnant,’ he said.
Jihad al-nikah, permitting extramarital sexual relations with multiple partners, is considered by some hardline Sunni Muslim Salafists as a legitimate form of holy war.
The minister also did not say how many Tunisian women were thought to have gone to Syria for such a purpose, although media reports have said hundreds have done so.
However, Ben Jeddou also said that since he assumed office in March, ‘six thousands of our young people have been prevented from going’ to the country.
He has said in the past that border controls have been boosted to intercept young Tunisians seeking to travel to Syria.
Earlier this year a group of Tunisian girls travelled to rebel-held Northern Syria to offer themselves to opposition fighters.
Their action came after growing concern in Tunisia about religious orders or ‘fatwas’ that circulated on the internet calling on Muslim women to perform jihad through sex.
A Tunisian minister of religious affairs appealed to girls at the time not to be influenced by Islamic preachers outside of Tunisia who made a number of ‘sexual fatwas’
Noureddine al-Khadimi rejected ‘sexual jihad’ fatwas, urging Tunisian people and state institutions to not respond to them.
Tunisian newspapers reported that a young Tunisian man divorced his wife, and that they both headed to Syria almost a month ago to ‘allow her to engage in sexual jihad with the mujahideen’ there.
This report followed earlier ones of a video widely circulated on the internet and social websites in Tunisia showing the parents of a veiled girl called Rahmah, 17.
They said Rahmahat disappeared from home one morning and they ‘later learned that she had headed to Syria to carry out sexual jihad.’
The young girl has since returned to her family, who have kept her out of sight, and said that their daughter is not a religious fanatic ‘but was influenced by her fellow students who are known for their affiliation with the jihadist Salafist.’
Her parents said these fellow students may have brainwashed her and convinced her to travel to Syria ‘to support the mujahideen there.’
Reports in Tunisia stressed though that the fatwa had gained much attention on pro-Syrian regime websites, the goal of which may be to tarnish the image of the Islamic fighters by stressing a key point of Syrian leader Bashar Al Assad that fundamentalists, supported by Salafist groups in Saudi Arabia, are amongst the Syrian rebels.
Al-Hadi Yahmad, a researcher on the affairs of Islamic groups, told Al-Hayat: ‘The issue of sexual jihad was initially attributed to a Saudi sheikh who denied it, and this fatwa is abnormal and not endorsed by religious scholars.’
He added that this fatwa — had it indeed been issued — may involve Syrian girls living in Syria, who can ‘support the mujahideen by marrying them for a few hours.’
Under Islamic law, a man can marry and consummate a marriage with his bride, before divorcing her the next day without any resistance from the bride or her family simply by following religious etiquette.
Noor Eddin al-Khadimi, said that Tunisians should not abide by the fatwa.