Unfortunately for what seems to be that blind spot people have when it comes to stories on Muslims and sex, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of Tunisian female warriors going to fight a holy sex war.
Sucks, I know.
Despite the lack of clear evidence of a sex war pandemic, this hasn’t stopped news media outlets all over the world from grabbing, expanding, and running with this story.She links the story to earlier wild stories about fatwas on sexual issues and notes that the evidence remains scanty and in some cases denied by those being quoted:
In December, Lebanese news channel Al Jadeed reported that hardline and popular Salafi scholar Shaykh Mohamad Al Arefe, a loud and inciting opponent of the Syrian regime, had issued a fatwa (a non-binding religious opinion) allowing the gang rape of non-Sunni Syrian women by rebels. Not only did the scholar vehemently deny expressing any such opinion, on Twitter and in later sermons (both links in Arabic), but the story was debunked by the Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah.
On March 27, 2012, the Pan-Arab news site Al Hayat, published a piece discussing the apparent crisis of young Tunisian girls and what was being referred to as “Sexual Jihad.” It claimed that the impetus behind this was another fatwa from Al Arefe, in which he urged young women to go in engage in the so-called sexual Jihad by offering themselves to the rebels. There was, however, no proof of this fatwa and those close to Al Arefe also thoroughly denied the cleric had ever made such a ridiculous statement.Usually most of these stories that seem to have no clear sourcing are not endorsed by the country in question's Interior Minister, admittedly, but Saeed's takedown of the story seems to have some solid points.