Do sex-crazed extremists give Islam a bad name? An Arab TV show comes under fire.
A new television series being broadcast around the Middle East tells the story of Arabs living in residential compounds in Saudi Arabia and the militant Islamists who want to blow them up so they can collect their rewards in heaven — 72 beautiful virgins.
One of the show's writers, Abdullah Bjad, is a Saudi and self-described former militant who was consulted on religious aspects of the script. He said that just before one of the 2003 attacks on a residential compound in Saudi Arabia, an attacker who was in contact with his superiors was "heard on the mobile phone counting down the seconds to the 'beautiful maidens.' His last words were: 'One second to the 'beautiful maidens.' He then blew himself up."
"The series is aimed at those who have not made up their minds about terrorism yet," he said, puffing on a cigarette in his studio in Damascus.
"We want to tell them that Islam is a religion of tolerance, peace and dialogue," he added. "It's not a religion of violence."