By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
NEW DELHI, India — President Duterte ridiculed the Islamic State’s (ISIS’) supposed method of recruiting members that they would enjoy virgins in heaven if they get killed for their war.
Duterte made the statement in a business forum before possible Indian investors here Friday afternoon. Duterte was in India for the 2018 India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit.
According to the President, the Daesh ideology is bankrupt and joked that he would rather have his virgins while he is living instead of in the afterlife.
“It’s an ideology that is totally bankrupt, totally empty and the only objectives there are to kill and destroy for nothing, for no reason at all,” Duterte said.
“And the come-on is that if you die a martyr, you go to heaven with 42 virgins waiting for you. Well, if I could just make it a come-on also for those who would like to go to my country,” he added.
“And I said one of the most is promising virgins when you go to heaven. I’d like to have the virgins here not in heaven. God may not allow it,” he continued.
In Islam, the concept of 72 virgins refers to an aspect of paradise. However, the Qur’an had not specified that male martyrs will be given 72 virgins in the afterlife.
The Philippine government has just finished a five-month war against the Daesh-inspired Maute group in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur which attempted to establish a caliphate in the country.
The siege resulted to the death of the death of a total of 1,189 people including Isnilon Hapilon, the reported emir of the ISIS in the Southeast Asian region.
Since the siege began, Duterte has been pushing for a regional military cooperation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to combat the threat of terrorism and violent extremism.
Only on Friday morning, it was reported that the ISIS is targeting Duterte during his India visit due his firm resolve to wipe out extremism in the region, particularly in the Philippines.
According to ThePrint, an Indian online news agency, the ISIS was provoked to mobilize Indonesian-based sleeper cells or secret agents that have remained inactive for a long period of time to target the Philippine President.
However, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement that Duterte is unfazed about the recent threat in his life, saying the President will not waiver in his campaign against the ISIS.
“PRRD will not cower to threats from ISIS nor any other terrorist groups. He has pledged to serve the Filipino people and has left the issue of his mortality to the Creator,” Roque said Friday morning.
“He is unmoved by this latest threat and will be unrelenting in his fight against violent extremism,” he added.