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Sodomy for Jihad or Islamophobic Hoax?

Sodomy for Suicide

The Sodomy for Jihad hoax is making rounds all across the looniverse, on hate sites like Jihad Watch, Frontpage Magazine, and Winds of Jihad. Canada’s right wing Sun News also published the story and featured commentary from the ubiquitous native informant, Tarek Fatah.

The story even made its way onto an well-known U.S. based national gay and lesbian news magazine before it was debunked by the Electronic Intifada.

Sodomy for jihad? Venerable LGBT magazine The Advocate spreads vile Islamophobic hoax

by Benjamin Doherty

Screenshot from The Advocate article The Religious Exemption: Sodomy for Suicide Bombers that shows a photo collage with an erroneous caption.

Note: This post contains a translation of a sexually explicit and defamatory joke targeting Muslims

The Advocate, an important US-based national gay and lesbian news magazine, has published a homophobic, racist, sectarian and Islamophobic hoax as if it is actual news.

An article headlined “The Religious Exemption: Sodomy for Suicide Bombers” by editor Lucas Grindley published 12 July 2012 makes the following astonishing claim:

Suicide bombers were allowed to ask fellow militants for anal sex so it would be easier to hide explosives in their rectums — at least according to a researcher at a conservative think tank.

Raymond Ibrahim, a fellow at the conservative David Horowitz Freedom Center, said he’s found a 2010 Arab news video in which a Muslim cleric is caught explaining why sodomy is permissible if part of “martyrdom operations.”

“Is it permissible for me to let one of the jihadi brothers sodomize me to widen my anus if the intention is good?” someone asks cleric Abu al-Dema al-Qasab, according to Ibrahim’s account.

Although the cleric reminds everyone that sodomy is forbidden, he offers an exception.

“Jihad comes first,” he said, according to Ibrahim’s translation, “for it is the pinnacle of Islam, and if the pinnacle of Islam can only be achieved through sodomy, then there is no wrong in it.”

Origins of a Hoax

This claim reported by The Advocate is pure nonsense. It is a hoax purveyed by someone affiliated with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an extreme right-wing organization whose founder and namesake is well-known for uncivil and racist attacks on liberal, progressive and leftist political groups.

The Advocate’s source is Raymond Ibrahim, a fellow at the Horowitz Center and at the Middle East Forum, who claimed that the religious directive was contained in a “2010 Arabic news video that aired on Fadak TV” and was advice given to Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri, who blew himself up in an attempt to assassinate Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Nayif in 2009. Some press reports stated that al-Asiri had carried explosives in his rectum.

In his post on the Gatestone Institute, Ibrahim elaborates:

Apparently a cleric, one Abu al-Dema al-Qasab, informed al-Asiri and other jihadis of an “innovative and unprecedented way to execute martyrdom operations: place explosive capsules in your anus. However, to undertake this jihadi approach you must agree to be sodomized for a while to widen your anus so it can hold the explosives.”

This is the video he’s writing about.

To a non-Arabic speaker, it would be reasonable to believe that the person speaking in the video is “Abu al-Dema al-Qasab” because Ibrahim does not give any context to the video. Apparently The Advocate believed this, because it posted a screenshot of the man from the video next to a photo of al-Asiri with the following caption:

Cleric Abu al-Dema al-Qasab (left) reportedly said suicide bombers like Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri (right), who hid explosives in his rectum, were allowed anal sex.

However, the person in the video is Abdallah al-Khallaf, host of “The morals of the Prophets, Peace Be Upon Them,” a show broadcast on UK-based satellite channel Fadak TV whose target audience is Shia Muslims.

In the video, al-Khallaf tells the audience that he is going to read an item from a website called “Muntadayat Usud al-Sunna” (Lions of the Sunnah forums).

Al-Khallaf reads the item from the website as if it is real. He also characterizes the alleged protagonists as “Wahhabis.” It appears his intention is to incite his audience’s disgust at the supposed thinking and behavior of Wahhabi Sunni Muslims who, he suggests, will justify anything in pursuit of their goals.

“one Abu al-Dema al-Qasab”

I found the likely source that Abdallah al-Khallaf reads in the video. The Internet Archive includes a forum post from 28 August 2009 on

The text appears to be at best an extremely vulgar joke and at worst sectarian defamation. It is written in a style commonly used for stories in which both the teller and listener know it is a joke or fiction.

The Electronic Intifada has translated this text into English. Please be warned that it contains very explicit language and imagery:

It is said that the terrorist who blew himself up in an attempt to assassinate Prince Muhammad bin Nayif inserted capsules of explosives in his anus like suppositories.

It is said – only God knows – that before he acted, the terrorist asked a sheikh, that he intends to insert explosive capsules in his rectum, seeking jihad, in order to carry out jihad operations, in desire for virgins.

The terrorist asked the sheikh the question in the following way: Our Sheikh, May God give you martrydom and virgins in paradise. I want to carry out a martrydom operation and so I presented myself to “Sheikh Bloody Butcher” [Sheikh Abu al-Dema al-Qasab].

He told me we devised a completely new and unprecedented way for martyrdom operations and that is to put explosives in your rectum. And in order to train you for this method of jihad you must agree to be sodomized for a period in order that your anus will be widened such that your rectum can take the explosives.

And my question, God have mercy on you: Is it permitted to offer my anus to one of the mujahidin brothers if the intention is pure and the goal is to train for jihad, and to widen my rectum?

And the sheikh offered praise to God and said: In principle sodomy is forbidden and out of the question. Except that jihad comes first, it is the pinnacle of Islam. And if the pinnacle of Islam cannot be achieved except through sodomy then there is no wrong in it.

The jurisprudential rule says: necessity overcomes what is forbidden. And if the only way to carry out a duty is with a certain thing, then that thing becomes a duty, and there is no greater duty than jihad.

After you are sodomized you must ask forgiveness from God and praise him abundantly and you must be certain my son that on Judgment Day, God rewards the mujahidin according to their intentions, and your intention, God willing is the victory of Islam.

This text, or versions with slight variations, can be found on several other websites by searching for the name “Sheikh Abu al-Dema al-Qasab” in Arabic.

Several features identify this story as a tasteless joke, especially the name “Sheikh Abu al-Dema al-Qasab.” It translates to Sheikh Bloody Butcher. This is not a real person. The post is peppered with phrases like “it is said” and “only God knows” which indicate storytelling.

The Advocate’s ongoing Islamophobic crusade

The Advocate was a cornerstone of the LGBT civil rights movement, providing serious journalism and analysis since 1967 for a community that suffered discrimination and even violence as it struggled for legitimacy and recognition…

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    • As-salaamu ‘aleykum, I’m from the future (2014 to be exact). I can attest that you are correct; this story is still making its rounds. Though the actors have changed, the script is the same. Tellingly, no-one can seem to produce the text of the fatwa in this latest version of the hoax.

    • Spartacus


      “Let me get this straight. So you expect me to believe that there are absolutely no tolerance for homosexuality in the UK Christian community as well?”

      There is measurable structural homophobia from all the major UK Christian institutions, including Anglicanism and Catholicism. A non-homophobic Christian belonging to those organisations should be treated like a stated “non-racist” who joins Stormfront.

      If you join or support an organisation that perpetuates homophobia you are perpetuating homophobia even if you claim to “disagree” with homophobia.

    • Isma’il Marshall

      This is an example of non-Muslims taking something at face value because they’re not aware of the sort of vulgar insult and joke telling that goes down in sectarian polemics between Sunnis and Shi’ah. I have seen with my own eyes countless instances of Sunnis and Shi’is producing made-up fatwas and reports to accuse the other group of approving of homosexuality, bestiality, necrophilia, and all sorts of other things. It’s extremely common on sectarian forums, and this is just an example of someone on a Shi’ah TV station sharing one of these obscene stories. Any Muslim or non-Muslim with any familiarity with sectarian rhetoric would immediately recognize that.

    • @Spartacus

      Let me get this straight. So you expect me to believe that there are absolutely no tolerance for homosexuality in the UK Christian community as well? How do you explain the existence of openly gay Christians and Muslims, and not to mention Christians and Muslims who openly support gay rights, including in the UK? Also how do you explain the studies in thoses stories that Ilisha linked to?

    • Spartacus

      That study was cited was published in the Guardian.

      Also, from the counter-study showed similar levels of homophobia to the Christian community – a community that has driven homophobia, opposed gay rights and marriage, and which creates a toxic atmosphere for gay people.

    • RDS

      So basically.

      -Satire was posted on a Wahhabi forum to poke fun at themselves, albeit a bit tasteless.

      -Satire was picked up by a Shia cleric to tell others that the Wahhabis are batsh*t insane to even consider that.

      -Satire is then picked up as news by Raymond Ibrahim et al., who obviously missed the intent and the paper trail.

      -Satire is then repeated as truth.

      This is like Onion News all over again!

    • @Ilisha

      I read about that “study” Spartacus sited, I knew it had to be false, immediately after I saw it. Even ignoring everything else, including the fact that its an extraordinary claim and the fact that I’ve heard about openly gay Muslims, even through I don’t know any personally. The thing I want to know is how did they bias that “study” so they got that result, assuming the people who first reported didn’t outright lie?

    • Spartacus

      This is a “vile” Islamophobic hoax when homophobia is rare within Islam rather than the norm.

      For example, UK Muslims have a “zero tolerance” view of homosexuality (500 British Muslims were interviewed, not one found homosexuality to be “morally acceptable” (Google for the 2009 poll).

      These attitudes, be they Islamic or Christian, their prevalence – both mainstream and community – create and perpetuate a malevolent environment for homosexuality.

      I see nothing wrong in documenting, and attacking, including satirising, the Catholic and evangelical Christian teachings about homosexuality and the malevolence their adherents can generate.

      And I see nothing wrong in extending that into the provably, measurably, murderously homophobic Islamic sects.

    • Of course it’s a hoax. All western closet army queens f.i. know that one does not need a buddy or sarge to get used to anal penetration. A set of dildos in increasing formats will do. Maybe the terrorists will be so amazed by the discovery that inside they have a clitoris too that they’ll forget all about the suicide plans?

    • corey

      Nassirh lets not forget that reymond ibrihim is the same idiot who came up with one of the most retarded articles from jw on how muslims with beards could be more dangerous then those without one its like this guy loves coming up with idiotic bullshit to get people supportive of reducing muslims to second class citizens which would pretty much get bigots like sheik his mommy, morons at bni, geller and spencer to break out the champagne and declare it a “victory for human rights”

    • Nassir H.

      The fact that man in the video makes a crude joke against terrorists belies several common Islamophobic talking points. The mistranslation and spread of this video is more indicative of how dishonest “counterjihadists” are than anything else.

    • Nassir H.

      This blatantly fabricated story is still going to find its way around Islamophobic sites for years to come. Perhaps, like desensitized porn addicts, Islamophobes will need increasingly new and shocking material to satisfy their “hobby.” Thus, their “pornographers” (in this case, Raymond Ibrahim) will try to supply new material.

      Of course, you can’t really expect much from someone like Ibrahim. Apparently he couldn’t even keep his job as a librarian because of his bigotry. This isn’t the first time he has mistranslated Arabic and it certainly won’t be the last.

  • Dawood

    The content of the joke/tale and the duplicity involved in this are both disgusting!

    And what makes matters worse is that even the name “Shaykh Abu al-Dama’ al-Qasab”, or “the Bloody Butcher”, is instantly recognisable to anyone with Arabic ability as a play on words and entirely fake name. The fact that Raymond Ibrahim – who has been touted for his Arabic knowledge etc. previously by the Islamophobesphere – did not make that clear, shows his ulterior motives.

    It’s almost as bad as believing that Juha is a “Mullah” because the South Asian Muslims know him as Mulla Nasruddin!

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