Racism in Paradise

Tarek Fatah, National Post (Toronto), October 5, 2009

A Saudi cleric named Sheikh Muhammad al-Munajid has promised on Saudi TV that the virgins we Muslims will get in paradise will be white. If you blow yourself up in a martyrdom operation, you’ll be rewarded with 72 pure women, and not one of them will be black or Indian, or even Arab or Iranian.

This is not the first strange thing Sheikh al-Munajid has said. He is the same man who once issued a fatwa against Mickey Mouse. And when Western and Arab media ridiculed him for it, he defended himself by insisting that “the real issue being discussed was the harmful rodent ‘the mouse,’ not Mickey.”

What follows edited excerpt from an interview with al-Munajid, which aired on Al-Majd TV on July 25, 2009, and has been transcribed and translated by MEMRI–The Middle East Research Institute.

Muhammad sl-Munajid: Allah said that the black-eyed virgins are beautiful white young women, with black pupils and very white retinas, whose skin is so delicate and bright that it causes confusion.

Allah said that they are like hidden pearls. They are all the same age, morally and physically beautiful. They are like precious gems and pearls in their splendor, their clarity, their purity, and their whiteness. Each one of them is so beautiful that you can see the bone-marrow through the delicate flesh on their legs.

Whereas the women of this world may suffer, for days and nights, from menstruation, from blood for 40 days after childbirth, from vaginal bleeding and from diseases–the women of Paradise are pure, unblemished, menstruation-free, free of feces, urine, phlegm, children . . .

Moreover, Allah cleaned them of all impure and foul things, both in appearance and character. In character, they are not jealous, hateful, or angry. They are not greedy.

They are restricted to tents, locked up for the husband. There is no such thing as going out. When he comes home–they are there. There is no such thing in Paradise as a man coming home and not finding his wife there. Allah described them as women who lower their gaze, and never look at anybody but their husband.

Interviewer: You said the woman looks only at her husband, but today, things are different. Today, husbands don’t look only at their wives, or vice versa–except for a few, on whom Allah has taken mercy.

al-Munajid: There are some pious, pure men, who have eyes only for their wives, and there are some pious, pure and obedient wives, who have eyes only for their husbands. But today, people’s eyes roam freely. The Internet . . . The people of this world . . . There is a big difference when it comes to deriving pleasure. In this world, men work hard and tire themselves out in order to derive pleasure. The Prophet Muhammad says that in Paradise, a man gets the strength of 100 men when it comes to eating, drinking, passion and sex.

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