Religious leader denies calling for gang rape of Syrians

RIYADH -- Prominent Saudi cleric Muhammed al-Arifi "has called for a gang rape of Syrian women so warriors of Islam could have sexual relief”, according to reports.

(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)

Al-Arifi has in the meantime denied that he issued a fatwa in which he specified that the “intercourse marriages” last only a few hours “in order to give each fighter a turn”.

“Any female over the age of 14 is an eligible bride,” he was quoted as saying.

Al-Arifi, who is a leading jihadist religious figure according to AlterNet, reportedly stressed that Islamist had not had an opportunity to “make love to women” for the past two years.

He was also quoted as saying that his fatwa would “boost the determination of the mujahideen in Syria” and that such “marriages” were the “holy duty of Syrian women that will secure them a place in heaven”.

But according to msn.com, AlterNet, which was one of several outlets reporting on the allegations, has issued a retraction on this story after Muhammed al-Arifi denied he made these comments in a new YouTube video and on his Facebook page, saying that "no sane person" would have said said such a thing.