Saudi religious leader Muhammed al-Arifi has issued a religious ordinance encouraging "warriors of Islam" to gang-rape Syrian woman. The cleric claims that he issued the ordinance (fatwa) in an attempt to benefit soldiers who are weary due to sexual frustration.
Al-Arifi, a leading jihad religious figure, referred to the rape of Syrian women as "intercourse marriages." The "intercourse marriages" are expected to last just a few hours in order to allow the soldiers to take turns with the women. The cleric also specified that chosen women should not be under the age of 14 and should be either widowed or divorced, according to Alternet.
The gang-rapes would essentially be considered short-term marriages between Jihadist militants and Syrian women. It is the hope of al-Arifi that the militants will then become more aggressive and determined to kill Syrians.
This is not the first time Muhammed al-Arifi has encouraged or endorsed violence against women. His attitudes against women recently led is being banned from entering Switzerland and taking part in the Swiss Central Islamic Council.
Rape is already becoming an epidemic in Syria. Figures are difficult to compute because it is believed that many rapes go unreported. A website, Women Under Siege Syria, has taken the initiative to try to record and keep track of crimes against women in the region. Their website includes an interactive map and accounts of crimes as they happen. The mission of the website is vital to Syrian women:
"We are relying on you to help us discover whether rape and sexual assault are widespread--such evidence can be used to aid the international community in grasping the urgency of what is happening in Syria, and can provide the base for potential future prosecutions. Our goal is to make these atrocities visible, and to gather evidence so that one day justice may be served."