Orthodox West Bank settlers believe terrorists go to heaven
The concept I'm about to mock was developed because Muslims don't eat pork, and because there's supposedly a belief among Islamic suicide terrorists that they will be whisked to heaven (and 72 virgins for their enjoyment) immediately after their death in a terrorist action. However, if their bodies are contaminated by being buried in a pigskin bag or perhaps being annoited with lard, they will go somewhere else. (Where? To a right-wing ultra-Orthodox Hereidi Jewish yeshiva? Oh, yes. Jews don't like pigs, either. Maybe they'll have to spend eternity with the right-wing fundamentalist Christian Bible-Thumpers.)
Of course, this whole business is silly. I don't think suicide bombers are motivated by the promise of 72 virgins in the afterlife. But, if you believe the reportage of Mr. Alan Philips of the Telegraph, [registration required] back in 2002 the Orthodox Jewish settlers in the West Bank seemed to believe so:
The settlers believe that contact with a pig, an unclean animal for Muslims and Jews, will rob the bomber of the reward of martyrdom, traditionally said to be 72 virgins.
Shlomo Riskin, chief rabbi of Efrat, defended the practice: "If burial in pigskin will deter suicide bombers, then it is incumbent on us to do this. We should do anything to save life."
So we have the spectacle of Orthodox Jews who believe in Muslim eschatology, and they are backed up by their rabbi!
Alas, this holy work has been in vain, and the settlers should have known it had they been paying attention in Friday school:
Palestinian Muslims reacted with scorn to the idea, saying the soul went to paradise and was unaffected by any taint to the body.
"The keys to heaven are not in the hands of settlers," said Sheikh Hassan Youssef, for Hamas, whose military wing has sent dozens of suicide bombers into Israel.
Islamic reference books say the body of a martyr who dies for the faith is so pure that it does not need to be washed before burial, in contrast to the usual Muslim practice.
Too bad, these Orthodox settlers will need to find another excuse to explain why they were seen shopping at the local Tiv Ta'am Store.