Monday, October 10, 2005

Beautiful Maidens

Al Qaeda nutjobs attack Arabs living in residential compounds in Saudi Arabia in a new television series being broadcast in the Middle East during the Ramadan holiday called "Beautiful Maidens." The beautiful maidens of the title refer to the seventy-two virgins radical Islamists believe they will win as martyrs in the jihad against non-believers. The show makes the point, controversial in the Arab Muslim world, that blowing yourself up is no way to meet chicks.

One of the writers for "Beautiful Maidens is a former radical Muslim nutjob himself. Abdullah Bjad, a Saudi (naturally), said that during one of the suicide bombings in 2003 on a Saudi Arabian residential compound, the murderer was talking to his bosses. He was "heard on the mobile phone counting down the seconds to the 'beautiful maidens.' His last words were: 'One second to the 'beautiful maidens.' He then blew himself up."

The director and producer of "Beautiful Maidens," Najdat Anzour, a Muslim Syrian, says, "The series is aimed at those who have not made up their minds about terrorism yet. We want to tell them that Islam is a religion of tolerance, peace and dialogue. It's not a religion of violence." He said the show was dedicated to "all innocent victims of terrorism."

These are old chestnuts peddled by Muslims but completely false. Islam is anything but tolerant or peaceful. Jihad against unbelievers is part of Islamic doctrine and the highest duty for Muslims. Most of the history of Islam is one of war against infidels, interrupted only when Muslim civilization was too feeble to bear arms successfully against the West. Likewise, the assertion that Islam desires dialogue is refuted by a thousand years of fatwas forbidding contact with the West inspired by the injunctions of Mohammed against befriending or imitating unbelievers.

The dedication to "innocent victims of terrorism" is the slipperiest piece of rhetoric of all, as Muslims only consider Muslims to be innocent. There are dozens of ways in which Muslims declare non-Muslims to be guilty of aggression against Muslims and therefore legitimate targets of jihad. The traditional way is declare infidels as arrogant in rejecting the truth offered by Mohammed. Other variations on this theme include Osama Bin Laden's declaration of all American civilians as legitimate targets because they pay taxes which support Israel and general oppression of Muslims around the world. Presumably, "Beautiful Maidens" features Arab families as victims of the terrorists because American and other Western victims would receive little sympathy with a Middle Eastern Muslim audience.

Of course, anything that knocks suicide bombing will attract criticism in the Middle East. The Internet is ablaze with condemnation of "Beautiful Maidens" in Arabic chat rooms. Anzour, the director, has been castigated as an infidel who is tarnishing the image of Islam. In typical Islamic fashion, they do not rebut the show's themes with that famous Muslim dialogue but rather demand that the series be cancelled. However, to its credit, the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), an Arabic satellite television station that broadcasts "Beautiful Maidens," refuses to do so. Oddly, MBC is owned by Saudis.


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