Is it inconsistent for Muslim “holy warriors” to engage in voyeuristic acts of lasciviousness? Because would-be jihadists and martyrs have been known to frequent strip bars — such as the 9/11 hijackers and Major Nidal Hasan, whose “late-night jiggle-joint carousing stands at odds with the picture of a devout Muslim” — many Americans have concluded that such men cannot be “true” Muslims, leading to the ubiquitous conviction that they are “hijacking Islam.”

In fact, Islamists rely on several rationalizations — doctrines, even — that make “jiggle-joint carousing” consistent with Muslim piety. Considering that Islamic law permits sex slaves (Koran 4:3), who can be kept topless by their masters, and makes sex one of the highest paradisiacal rewards, this should come as no great surprise. However, to elaborate:

First, the doctrine of taqiyya allows Muslims residing among infidels to deceive the latter by, among other things, behaving like infidels, e.g., frequenting strip bars: “Taqiyya [deception], even if committed without duress, does not lead to a state of infidelity — even if it leads to sin deserving of hellfire.”

In conjunction, the overarching Muslim principle that necessity makes that which is forbidden permissible goes a long way in helping Islamists validate their libidinous desires: “It is ‘necessary’ for me to be at this strip club so infidels come to believe that I’m just a regular bloke and not a soldier of Allah.” Indeed, sometimes the mere gratification of sexual urges is deemed a “necessity” that makes the forbidden permissible in Islam, as in this historical anecdote:

After conquering the Banu Mustaliq tribe in 628, Muhammad’s men deemed it “necessary” to rape their captive women (citing their wives’ absence and untended desires). However, they also wanted to sell these women for a profit, which posed complications, as copulating with them risked impregnating them. So they rationalized that ‘azl (coitus interruptus) would solve the problem and asked Muhammad. The prophet went one step further and offered a cosmic rationalization, dismissing coitus interruptus as unnecessary, “for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born” — that is, pullout or not, you cannot thwart Allah’s will, so don’t bother. (See here and here for more ‘azl quotes.)

Muhammad also maintained that death in the jihad not only blots out all sins — including sexual ones, a la voyeurism — but it actually gratifies them:

The martyr is special to Allah. He is forgiven [of all sins] from the first drop of blood [that he sheds]. He sees his throne in paradise, where he will be adorned in ornaments of faith. He will wed the ‘Aynhour [a.k.a. “voluptuous women”] and will not know the torments of the grave, and safeguards against the greater terror [hell]. … And he will copulate with 72 ‘Aynhour (see The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 143).