October 3, 2005

70 White Raisins

Every time a suicide bomber goes off someone feels compelled to mention the 70 or 72 virgins allegedly waiting languidly on the other side (exact numbers seem to vary, but who is counting after the first three dozen?).  

No-one ever mentions what female suicide bombers are rewarded with once they arrive in paradise, but it turns out that their reward might be just the same as for the men.

As with all belief systems, the relevant texts are open to whatever fanciful interpretation the reader wishes to believe, in order to justify whatever it is they are up to at any given moment, so we can’t be surprised if the odd bit of misunderstanding occurs. And so it would seem that the mythical 70 virgins that homicidal-suicide bombers believe will be waiting for them on their entry to heaven may be a little less than they had been promised - in shape and utility, if not numbers. 

According to one scholar of ancient Semitic languages, (writing under the pseudonym Christopher Luxenberg), a mistranslation is responsible for the Muslim paradise being strewn with 'virgins’ - Arabic hur, transliterated as 'houris' - literally 'white ones'. It seems to this scholar at least, that passages describing paradise in the Qu'ran were drawn from earlier Christian texts that make frequent use of the Aramaic word hur, meaning 'white raisins'.

Imagine the look on a young martyr's face when, finding himself in a paradise teeming with his fellow thugs, his seventy "houris" arriving in the form of a bowl of white raisins.


  1. Anonymous11:22 PM

    This is hilarious, as is the post with dumb label warnings. I'm bookmarking your sight.

  2. Female suicide bombers (to put a more serious note on your amusing entry) do not go to heaven: females have no soul.

    Which means, of course, that male suicide bombers, on getting to heaven, discover that there are no female virgins waiting for them, because women have no soul. The virgins must be male ...


  3. Dear PI - thank you for sharing; I didn't know that!!

    So, a bowl of raisins or 70 male virgins? Either way, you've gotta figure they get their just desserts.

    As my daughter said to me earlier: "why would anyone want 70 virgins"?

  4. These Arabs have awesome sexual fantasies and you never know if they must have been having wet dreams over these 70 or 77 virgins waiting for them in their fantasy paradise.

    Have you seen an Arab in action before?
    They are equally suicide bombers in orgasm.

    Heretic religions.
    Heretic hallucinations.
    Heretic illusions.
    Heretic delusions.
    Heretic visions.
    Heretic missions.

  5. LOOOL, the only thing awaiting a suicide bomber is hell. 70 virgins my ass. They take a passage in the Quran and subvert it....

  6. Interesting - read something very similar in Francis Wheen's How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World from a few years ago. Good book, if you haven't had a chance to read it.

  7. Hi Slideyfoot - I've heard of that book title, but I thought is was more recent - but then again, it may have only come out in Australia more recently. Yes, one I should buy & read!

    I read of this in the newspaper - just in a little filler piece (as per the quoted text - which had no attribution in the newspaper) - it's been recycled by many, with less & less attribution each time, from what I can tell.

    I think we would have to accept that the author & the book noted by TimB is the original author / thinker on this aspect of this particuar topic.