Osama bin Laden may have been a purveyor of pornography. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Purple Slog/Flickr)

Details surrounding Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound continue to rise to the surface, including one surprising revelation. Reuters reports that during a sweep of bin Laden’s compound by Navy SEALs, a “fairly extensive” stash of pornographic videos was discovered. An anonymous U.S. official has stated that it is unclear whether bin Laden had acquired or viewed the porn.

Bin Laden had video equipment

Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound was intentionally cut off from modern communication technology, including the Internet or any other hard-wired network. Someone would have had to bring the pornographic videos in from outside. It was clear from U.S. mission footage that there were VCRs and video cameras within the compound. One of the confiscated videos shows Osama bin Laden watching video of himself on a monitor. However, it was also apparent that the pornography had not been filmed on-site.

Additional storage media confiscated from the Abbottabad compound included a series of USB thumb drives, which U.S. officials believe was the medium through which couriers delivered messages to and from bin Laden.

Islam and pornography in Google Trends

Some may find it surprising that Osama bin Laden and his followers – whom world media have categorized as Islamic militants – may have viewed pornographic videos. However, as U.S. officials close to the Abbottabad mission have stated, it is not uncommon to find porn in Islamic militant bases. Such transgressions sprung from the lust for “forbidden fruit” are also not uncommon in Muslim countries, reports Rafik Beekun of The Islamic Workplace blog. By using Google Trends research, Beekun found that 7 of the top 10 countries worldwide that searched most often for the word “sex” were Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Morocco, Indonesian and Iran. Similarly, at the time of his research, Beekun found that four of the top languages worldwide in which the word “sex” was searched for were Arabic, Turkish, Persian and Indonesian. “Porn” did not rank in the top 10 for any traditionally Muslim country.

What Allah thinks of Muslims who view porn

From Surah Al-An`aam (6:151) in the Quran, Allah speaks:

“Do not even go near lewdness – whether overt or covert.”

In Surah Al-A`raaf (7:33), Allah continues:

“Declare [O Prophet,] indeed my Lord has prohibited lewdness, whether overt or covert.”

If that isn’t clear enough, there’s Surah Bani-Israeel (17:32):

“Do not even go near fornication.”

The danger of unlawful acts

Beekun refers to the writings of Islamic theologian Yusuf al Qaradawi on Islam and pornography. Al Qaradawi points out to Muslims that what is not lawful can be harmful. Adultery is considered unlawful and immoral in Islam, and anything that can lead a Muslim into such an unlawful act is also considered unlawful. Hence, bin Laden’s porn stash could easily constitute a violation of the Islamic law he claimed to protect with bloodshed.

Sources

The Islamic Workplace: http://bit.ly/m54pET

Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/13/us-binladen-porn-idUSTRE74C4RK20110513

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