In an unexpected and possibly desperate move, ISIS announced Wednesday that it is increasing its standard offer of 72 post-martyrdom virgins to a whopping 94.
The nearly 25 percent increase in virgins is unprecedented in the history of jihad. The largest prior increase was decreed by the legendary sultan Saladin in 1186 when he offered 84 virgins in an effort to shore up his forces during the infamous Siege of Jerusalem.
While Saladin’s move was ultimately successful, Islamic law scholar Dr. Abbad Al-Abbad notes that ISIS is in a very different strategic position: “Unlike Saladin, ISIS is not currently operating from a superior position of power. They are essentially surrounded and have very limited access to resources. One must seriously question how they can realistically expect to secure such a massive supply of additional dead virgins, particularly those with the kind of ‘full, pear-shaped’ breasts described in the holy texts.”
One UN official who spoke on the condition of anonymity described the change in policy as a “dicey move” that could easily backfire: “If martyrs show up at the gates of paradise expecting 95 virgins and instead are only met with 72, it could have an immensely detrimental impact on morale. ISIS may not recover from that.”
In response to the news, the U.S. State Department issued a statement saying that “all options” remain on the table. This includes targeted sanctions as well as diplomatic efforts to counter the virgin surge. The US is also contemplating military action. Or, to be more specific, military inaction. As Joint Chiefs chair General Will Billman explained: “It’s an exciting new concept: No military action, no death, no martyrdom, no virgins. If all enemy combatants live long, fruitful lives and die peacefully in old age far away from the battlefield, we’d consider that a decisive tactical victory.”
ISIS is already claiming the move has been a success, reporting it has seen a notable bump in recruitment in just the first few days. One such new recruit is Saami Ganjoo; an Indian national who, according to Pakistani news sources, couldn’t sign up fast enough: “I always intended to join ISIS, but I was holding out, hoping they’d up their offer with an extra three, maybe four more virgins, tops. But twenty-two!? As soon as I heard, I hopped on the first bus to Raqqa. I even brought my own suicide vest!”
The world will now wait and see if even more Islamic youths will choose death in the hope of improving their sex lives.