Agony aunt/uncle columns and radio shows have been a staple of Western civilisation for a long time now, and you might have thought that this would be one characteristic that ISIS might be desperate to get rid of when the caliphate spreads to rule the world.
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It seems like you would be completely and utterly wrong though, as ISIS themselves recently launched an ‘agony uncle’ radio show where jihadists could ask for solutions to their personal problems. The name of the show roughly translates as ‘Fatwas Over the Airwaves’ and involves clerics providing answers to questions posed to them by militants about Islamic law.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) provides an example of one answer from a question posed to these ‘agony uncles’ about whether or not it was permissible to let women watch ISIS videos:
It is easy to understand why the question came up: The videos’ extremely violent content is likely seen by many in conservative Muslim circles as inappropriate for women. It appears, though, that the person who asked the question and the scholar who issue the ruling are concerned with issues of modesty stemming from women watching videos featuring men.
Some of the scholars have tended not to permit women to look at male strangers at all, and some of them have tended to prohibit women from looking at male strangers if this was out of desire or at a time or place ripe for temptation.
However, if the looking is devoid of these things, it is permissible (according to the second group of scholars), and this is the correct stance to which the textual proofs point.
Since women were ordered to conceal themselves from men, and men were not ordered to do this, therefore it is fundamentally permissible for the Muslim women to watch Islamic State videos, even if they contain sermons, military preparation, or combat by the men of the Islamic State.
Geez, talk about detailed, but I suppose Islamic law is a pretty complicated subject so it’s a good thing that these jihadists have somewhere to turn when they can’t figure it out themselves. Good for them thinking of the little guys.
Of course, it might be a better idea for ISIS to focus on more pressing problems – like the fact that they’re currently getting battered by Allied forces in Mosul – rather than questions of Islamic law. Just saying.