Monthly Archives: September 2013

It is my Body and it seems to be Everybody’s Business: Sex in the Name of Jihad

A number of Tunisian girls who had travelled to Syria for "sexual jihad" have returned home pregnant, the government says. (Photo from

A number of Tunisian girls who had traveled to Syria for “sexual jihad” have returned home pregnant, the government says. (Photo from

— By: Alexandra Kinias —

Over millennia, men have written the laws that controlled women lives, minds and bodies. Some of the rules that organized the daily lives of tribal communities were carried on from medieval times to modern times after been splashed with religious paint, whether written or interpreted from holy scripts by misogynist scholars. These laws condensed women’s roles to becoming sacred ornaments kept in a safe confinement or adorned a pedestal or a mantelpiece while waiting for the sacred blood of their virginity to be sacrificed on the matrimonial alter. Only death would restore a family’s honor, if that virginity was ever lost.

It seems that the level of testosterone escalates with the rate of ridicule women are subjected to as a reaction to these laws that affirm their submission and obedience. This submission is directly proportional to the amount of pleasure they give while being denied same, as a result of the FGM practice. Also let’s not forget the backbreaking lashing, which an adulterous woman may be punished by, that is more cruel and humiliating than the taming of a wild beast. And if adultery is committed by a married woman, her punishment is death by stoning in one of the most inhuman atrocities that could be committed against a living creature.

When one thinks that after what women have been and still are going through, there are no more possibilities for their exploitation, the horrific news that circulated months ago about the Tunisian women who had traveled to Syria, following a religious declaration [fatwa] to offer their bodies to the Mujahedeen, for what was shockingly labeled as Sexual Jihad, and was denied by many sources at the time. These news are now being confirmed when the girls returned back pregnant–out of wedlock, obviously–by those Holy Fighters.

Indeed the same religious scholars, who are preaching to cover up women from head to toe, to guard their virtue and chastity, and deafening the world with fatwas written thousands of years ago that control women’s being, are the same ones who found “convenient” scriptures urging women to offer sexual favors out of wedlock to the rebels in Syria.

So, it seems that Al Qaeda extremist rebels who are fighting the holy Jihad in Syria are not just interested in their seventy two virgins’ trophy they will receive upon martyrdom, but also they want to be entertained while still alive, in between the violence and atrocities they commit. And it didn’t take their religious scholars much time or effort to legalize prostitution with a promised reward, to the women, in the afterlife for sacrificing their dignity and chastity to relief the sexual desires of the Jihadists.

In April 2013, and after this religious fatwa by Sheikh Mohamed Al Arifi, the Saudi Scholar, went viral online, many Tunisian girls responded to this call, some as young as 14 years old. They left to Syria against their families’ will to participate in Sexual Jihad. Let us not forget that to justify their fatwas, the message from these scholars emphasized that “necessity makes permissible the prohibited.” And for the rebels in Syria, the Jihad against Assad’s regime falls under this category, and thus the sin of prostitution is no longer so, but it becomes a permissible practice that serves their cause.

Sheikh Al Arifi few months earlier had also issued another fatwa that allows the Mujahideen to rape the non- Muslim and non-Sunni women they capture in Syria, as they are considered spoils of war, similar to slaves or concubines bought from slave markets. So, the sexual desire becomes the driving force for many, as the obsession with women’s bodies doesn’t end with the end of men’s lives, but continues, as martyrdom is a guarantee to spend their afterlife seduced by the seventy two heavenly trophies.

After the story of the Sexual Jihad broke, and denied in April 2013, media reports now say that these girls have returned back to Tunisia after performing sex with 20, 30 or even 100 different partners, as reported by the Tunisian government that declined to give the exact number of the girls that had left to Syria. Some internal reports suggest that their number may be in the hundreds. Some of these girls have returned back pregnant with the children of these Mujahedeen.

In an interview to the Tunisian “Al Chourouck” newspaper, Lamia Khodder, 19 years old Sex Jihadist, recalls her horrific experience. Khodder says that she felt insulted when she heard a hard core right-wing sheikh, on a conservative channel, making fun of the Islam that Tunisians embrace, and the superficial practice of their religion and how women are dressed and behave. To learn more about her religion, Khodder frequented a mosque, controlled by the extreme Islamists, only to fall into the hands of another Sheikh who introduced her to the term of  Sexual Jihad and brainwashed her into believing that her redemption would be by offering her sexual services to the Mujahedeen, in the name of God.

As war escalated in Syria, Khodder together with other girls traveled against her family’s will to the war zone. In Syria they were taken to an abandoned hospital that was converted into a Mujahedeen Pleasure Camp, as she labeled it. Within the walls of this camp, she was raped and sexually assaulted by multiple men from various nationalities, over the duration of her stay. She was forced to handover her body to whoever was in need to satisfy his sexual desire. Inside the walls of the Pleasure Camp she met many other Tunisian girls who were abducted and forced to become sex slaves to these men. The girls lived in fear for their lives after some girls were executed when they tried to run away.

Al Chourouk newspaper doesn’t explain how Khodder and the other girls were finally able to return home. On their way back, they were stopped on the border crossing as they were getting into the country from the Libyan side. Khodder, who had been reported missing by her family was arrested and questioned. While in police custody, she went through some tests that confirmed that she was five months pregnant and infected with AIDS. She was handed over to her family who are keeping her in confinement while wishing for her death before the child is born.

Will Khodder’s life end in an honor killing incident that would be blamed on AIDS? Or a miracle would save her from a tragic fate and leave her to face another painful one that would eventually reap her young life? Only time will answer these questions …..

More related articles:

Sexual Jihad
Tunisian girls have joined the Sex Jihad in Syria
Tunisians Raise Alarm on Possible Fatwa Encouraging ‘Sexual Jihad’
Tunisian girls return home pregnant after ‘sexual jihad’ in Syria


Filed under Violence against women, Women's Rights

It’s my Body and its none of your Business (Part Two)

1175210_10151741403304193_1786650450_nBy: Alexandra Kinias —-

Whether it is fear of female’s temptation, obsession with her body, or weakness towards her influence, the church put full responsibility on Eve for bringing the Original Sin to mankind, and thus women were put on the road of redemption to pay for this unforgivable mess created by her. This notion has carried over since the beginning of time and laws and rules were made to limit and often diminish the influence of women and force them into submission; an obvious declaration of men’s weakness and insecurity. Women chastity became the driving force to control women’s minds,  garbs and sexual behaviors. And in many cultures a woman’s virginity became the sheer representation of her virtue.

Among the chain of despicable exploitation of women, chastity belts were men’s humiliating invention to guarantee her virtue. Chastity belts are an item of clothes with a lock that was designed to prevent sexual intercourse with the sole aim of preserving the chastity of its wearer.  The history of when these belts were used on women is unclear. Legends claim that they were first used during the Crusades where wives of the knights who left to liberate Jerusalem had to wear them to preserve their faithfulness. There is no credible evidence that supports that date. However, there is one fictional account that Semiramis, a mythical Assyrian queen, forced her household maids to wear locked chastity belts not to seduce her son. The truth may lie somewhere in between.

Another way of controlling women’s sexual behaviors, needs and desires is the brutal practice of FGM (female genital mutilation). This barbaric tradition that robs women of their femininity is still practiced in many countries in the Middle East and Africa. The non-religious tradition is practiced by both Muslims and Christians. Its purpose is to reduce female sexual desires and curb pre-marital sex, but along the way it transforms women to merely sex toys and reproduction machines, thus serving men’s sexual interests with no regard those of women.

As virtue and chastity of women in some cultures are condensed to their virginity, girls learn at young age that it should be guarded with their lives, which may become at stake if their virginity was lost out of wedlock, even if the woman was a rape victim. It needs not be ignored that women are always blamed for tempting men. So being harassed and raped is their responsibility. They are accused that men’s behavior is a reflection of women manners, promiscuity or attire. Never is it mentioned that if laws were drafted to punish the harassers or rapists, that the numbers of such crimes will drop.

Rape and sexual violence became global crimes that on a larger scale are used as weapons of war in conflict areas. They were used against women in Bosnia, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region of Darfur in Sudan. In wars, rape is used to destroy the communities. It humiliates women and punishes the men. Sexual harassment was widely used against the female protestors in Egypt during Mubarak’s era and in the years that followed his ousting. Women are targeted by harassment squads to discourage them from joining in the political rallies. The UN has declared them, finally, as war crimes where the perpetrators will be punished.

Honor killing, which is practiced in many cultures in the Middle East and lately has emigrated to some western societies, is a crime committed by male relatives of women with suspicious behaviors. These male relatives are often protected by the law and may walk free with their heads high for saving their family’s honor. A virtuous bride is the one who has her hymen intact on her wedding night. The existence of this non-functional, non-important, yet sign of virtue may make or break the marriage and may be a reason to end a bride’s life. The emphasis on its moral value created a thriving business of restoring the hymen, a medical procedure practiced in cultures that worship women’s virginity.

Women are brainwashed by men who want to control them to believe in the evilness of their bodies and that their virginity is more important than their intellect. The less education they receive, the easier they are brainwashed and the less rebellious they become. Women’s talent, intellect and productivity are compromised for the benefit of male’s dominance

I am not a feminist in the sense of what the definition has become.  I appreciate men holding doors for me, allow me to go first or open the car door. And neither do I have a personal score to settle with the male species other than I am against the injustices committed by them towards helpless women.  I believe in equality and justice. I refuse to see women being viewed as pleasure mindless objects and detest the fact that men are the decision makers for women’s issues and choices, both in the East and the West.

I am against the deplorable abhorring social conditions that drive women to sell their bodies and the judiciary systems that drop charges against a rapist if his victim agrees to marry him. These are the same conditions that allow a man to marry a nine years old girl,  subjected girls to FGM or deny them their rights of education.

After the endless exploitation of women, men have achieved nothing but become their adversaries. This makes me question if men really know what they want, or they are just trapped somewhere between their desires and their needs. Is this entrapment what really causes their insecurities and still drives them to control women at this time and age?

To be continued…..

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It is my Body and it is none of your Business

black dumbbell in hand of working out blonde female

By: Alexandra Kinias —

Female bodies are the symbol of fertility and sexuality; a manifestation of love and loathe. They are worshiped, cursed, desired and feared. They are the source of pleasures and tragedies. In the medieval times, tribal wars started to capture and enslave women. The renaissance artists painted women in nudity, in rebellion to the influence of the church that covered them up. They inspire poets to write, plastic surgeons sculpt them to stay young and sexy, fashion designers compete to dress them up, exercise industries collect fortunes shaping and slimming them, prostitutes make a living selling them and the Taliban want to hide them.

And all along it had been cherchez la femme when an irrational act or behavior by a man needed to be explained. Since Alexander Dumas first introduced this phrase in his novel The Mohicans of Paris in 1854, it had been used to incite that women are the root cause of problems, which obviously makes men the victim of their weakness towards women’s bodies, of course. After all wasn’t it Eve’s fault for the expulsion of the human race from heaven after she tempted Adam to eat the forbidden fruit.

And women have always been the victims of their bodies in the endless ongoing paradox between covering and uncovering them. Is it the obsession with a woman’s body or the fear of its power over men that drive them to control it by controlling women? This obsession or the fear of their spell dates back to ancient times. Promiscuity has been recorded in ancient civilizations. The tablets left by the Assyrians in Mesopotamia, now exhibited in the London Museum, clearly defined that the veil of women was instituted to distinguish between free honorable women from slaves, concubines and prostitutes. Only respectable women were forced to wear the veil while others went out with their heads uncovered. Thus veil became an exclusive symbol of respect and a social status; a privilege that slaves, prostitutes and concubines were denied off. And women who broke the veil code were severely punished.

prostitutionProstitution is known to be the oldest profession in history, dating back in ancient civilizations and the practice of exchanging sexual services for money is carried on until the present. And with the introduction of human trafficking, it is becoming a global multi-billion dollar thriving business.

The harem in the courts of the Sultans included both slaves and concubines. They may not have chosen this life, yet they still exchanged sexual favors for a lavish living. These women learned at a young age that their body is their investment and it could be used to guarantee them a better status, even as slaves. In Baghdad’s slave markets, the value of a slave could reach tens of thousands of Dinars. Slave trading was a thriving business and the art of polishing these women was developed to increase their value. Expensive slaves were those who were able to sing, dance and entertain. And to increase the value of their investment, slave masters sent these girls to special homes where they were trained by experienced older slaves.

Screen Captures64

In addition to being groomed, and learned to sing, dance, and to play musical instruments, they were also taught poetry, embroidery, languages, grammar, sciences, and of course the art of seduction. Female slaves were also able to discuss politics, sciences and arts. Merchants built what was known then as singing houses, similar to modern day’s brothels. There was a lot of competition between these houses to attract wealthy customers who came to enjoy the singing and dancing performed by the women, or to buy them.  Shirahzad’s tales that were born at that time and were recorded in the 1001 Nights were lessons to women in the art of manipulation and seduction.

The similarities between the singing houses in the lands of the Caliphates and the Geisha Houses in Japan are striking. Until WWII, being a Geisha was a full time occupation. These girls were also trained by older Geishas to become skilled performers, singers, flirtatious and conversationalists.

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On the shores of the Bosphorus, inside the walls of Topkapi Palace in Constantinople, known today as Istanbul, hundreds of beautiful women lived in secluded extravaganza. These concubines and slaves of the Imperial Harem were reputed to be among the most beautiful women in the Ottoman Empire. They were dressed in lavishly designed silk kaftans and adorned with precious jewels. Their only contact to the outside world was the 180 degrees view from the terraces of the palace. These young beautiful girls were given to the Sultan as gifts, bought from slave markets or sold by their impoverished parents. Many families encouraged their daughters to enter concubinage through slavery, as that promised a life of luxury and comfort. They learned to dance, recite poetry, play musical instruments, and master the erotic arts of seduction, and only the most gifted ones were presented to the Sultan as his personal maids-in-waiting.

The harem dance, oil on canvas, 65 x 115 cm

One can only imagine the jealousy, envy, scheming, competition, conspiracies’ planning and plotting between the women, that took place during their long restless and mindless days behind the closed doors of the golden cage, with the sole purpose to concrete their favorability to their master. Their beauty and sexuality dictated the course of their lives.

It is quite intriguing how laws, cultures, traditions, religions, and folk stories that were created and weaved thousands of years ago are still influencing and shaping the lives of many women today who are living in different corners of the world. Female bodies and women’s chastity, virtue, virginity, sexuality, biological needs, and personal decisions as abortions or the use of contraceptives, are still controlled by and dictated to them by men.

It is very important to understand that while female bodies are orbiting the galaxies of men’s imaginations, laws are made by man to favor man–over women obviously–with the purpose of control by men and submission by women. And these laws are always marinated in divinity to ensure they are not to be challenged nor refuted.

To be continued ……

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