Fox News host Bob Beckel on Thursday told his co-hosts on The Five that he had considered converting to Islam because he was interested in being rewarded with 72 virgins.
In the Koran, the concept of jannah, or paradise, is depicted as a place where men are rewarded for their religiosity with marriage to 72 virginal women. That fact has been widely distorted to be interpreted as a driving factor for radical Islam — suicide bombers, the thinking goes, commit their acts of violence to prove they are true believers and be rewarded with 72 virgins in heaven — despite the Korans strong rebuke of suicide.
That long and complicated history doesn’t matter to Beckel, though. In a segment discussing a film that was proposed to be shown in the national September 11th memorial, Beckel professed his interest in conversion — for the sake of the virgins.
“These radicals say well if you get killed, you get 72 virgins,” Beckel said. “I have thought about converting if it that’s the case.”
“You and Bill Clinton,” Fox’s Sean Hannity cut in.
Beckel, who is supposedly the left-leaning member of the Fox News team, has a history of anti-Islam comments. He has previously suggested that all mosque construction in the U.S. should be put on hold until every Muslim in the country is cleared of links to terrorism. And, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings a year ago, Beckel also proposed an idea, later picked up by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), of not granting visas to Muslim students.