I sh*t you not. This is not an April Fool’s Day joke.
A Kuwaiti woman who once ran for parliament has called for sex slavery to be legalized – and suggested that non-Muslim prisoners from war-torn countries would make suitable concubines.
Salwa al Mutairi argued buying a sex-slave would protect decent, devout and ‘virile’ Kuwaiti men from adultery because buying an imported sex partner would be tantamount to marriage.
The political activist and TV host even suggested that it would be a better life for women in warring countries as the might die of starvation.
Mutairi claimed: ‘There was no shame in it and it is not haram’ (forbidden) under Islamic Sharia law.’
And she even had an idea of where to ‘purchase’ these sex-salves – browsing through female prisoners of war in other countries.
She suggested shopping for prisoners of war so as to protect Kuwaiti men from being tempted to commit adultery or being seduced by other women’s beauty.
‘For example, in the Chechnyan war, surely there are female Russian captives,’ she said.
‘So go and buy those and sell them here in Kuwait. Better than to have our men engage in forbidden sexual relations.’
Mutairi recommended that offices could be opened to run the sex trade in the same way that recruitment agencies provide housemaids.
Her unbelievable argument for her plan was that ‘captives’ might ‘just die of hunger over there’.
She insisted, ‘I don’t see any problem in this, no problem at all’.
So are these enlightened views consistent with Islam? Apparently that is controversial:
For Muna Khan, an editor at the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television station, the ‘icing on the cake’ of Mutairi’s ‘preposterous views’ was her assertion that her suggestions do not conflict with the tenets of Islam.
Mutairi said that during a recent visit to Mecca, she asked Saudi muftis – Muslim religious scholars – what the Islamic ruling was on owning sex slaves. They are said to have told her that it is not haram.
The ruling was confirmed by ‘specialized people of the faith’ in Kuwait, she claimed.
‘They said, that’s right, the only solution for a decent man who has the means, who is overpowered by desire and who does not want to commit fornication, is to acquire jawari.’ Jawari is the plural of the Arabic term jariya, meaning ‘concubine’ or ‘sex slave’.
One Saudi mufti supposedly told Mutairi: ‘The context must be that of a Muslim nation conquering a non-Muslim nation, so these jawari have to be prisoners of war.’
Concubines, she argued, would suit Muslim men who fear being ‘seduced or tempted into immoral behaviour by the beauty of their female servants’.
Well, even if she is making it all up, she knows how to cite precedent:
She gave the example of Haroun al-Rashid, an 8th century Muslim leader who ruled over an area covered by modern-day Iran, Iraq and Syria and was rumoured to have 2,000 concubines.
So this wasn’t such a big no-no during the golden age of Islamic caliphate. But maybe this caliph was just Muslim? Maybe he was just “corrupting Islam”? Or maybe he was going by precedent, too. Among the many wives of Prophet Muhammad, there was one, Safiya, whose story ties in with this:
‘Allahu Akbar! Khaibar is ruined. Whenever we approach near a (hostile) nation (to fight) then evil will be the morning of those who have been warned.’ He repeated this thrice. The people came out for their jobs and some of them said, ‘Muhammad (has come).’ (Some of our companions added, ‘With his army.’) We conquered Khaibar, took the captives, and the booty was collected. Dihya came and said, ‘O Allah’s Prophet! Give me a slave girl from the captives.’ The Prophet said, ‘Go and take any slave girl.’ He took Safiya bint Huyai. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! You gave Safiya bint Huyai to Dihya and she is the chief mistress of the tribes of Quraiza and An-Nadir and she befits none but you.’ So the Prophet said, ‘Bring him along with her.’ So Dihya came with her and when the Prophet saw her, he said to Dihya, ‘Take any slave girl other than her from the captives.’” Anas added: “The Prophet then manumitted her and married her.”(Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 367)
“Safiyah was born in Medinah. She belonged to the Jewish tribe of Banu ‘I-Nadir. When this tribe was expelled from Medinah in the year 4 A.H, Huyaiy was one of those who settled in the fertile colony of Khaibar together with Kinana ibn al-Rabi’ to whom Safiyah was married a little before the Muslims attacked Khaibar. She was then seventeen. She had formerly been the wife of Sallam ibn Mishkam, who divorced her. One mile from Khaibar. Here the Prophet married Safiyah. She was groomed and made-up for the Prophet by Umm Sulaim, the mother of Anas ibn Malik. They spent the night there. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari guarded the tent of the Prophet the whole night. When, in the early dawn, the Prophet saw Abu Ayyub strolling up and down, he asked him what he meant by this sentry-go; he replied: “I was afraid for you with this young lady. You had killed her father, her husband and many of her relatives, and till recently she was an unbeliever. I was really afraid for you on her account”. The Prophet prayed for Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Ibn Hisham, p. 766)
So the prophet “married” her after killing her relatives, and gave him lieutenants free reign to pick their own sex-slaves, too. It doesn’t look like Mutairi’s suggestions should have caused so much outrage among Muslims.