From the New York Times:
The enormous cache of computer files taken from Osama bin Laden’s compound contained a considerable quantity of pornographic videos, American officials said on Friday, adding a discordant note to the public image of the Islamist militant who long denounced the West for its lax sexual mores.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity about classified material, would not say whether there was evidence that Bin Laden or the other men living in the house had acquired or viewed the material.
The discovery of the pornography, first reported by Reuters, may not be surprising in a collection of five computers, 10 hard drives and dozens of thumb drives and CDs whose age and past ownership is not known.
But the disclosure could fuel accusations of hypocrisy against the founder of Al Qaeda, who was 54 and lived with three wives at the time of his death, and will be welcomed by counterterrorism officials because it could tarnish his legacy and erode the appeal of his brand of religious extremism.
Some people are dismissing this announcement as American propaganda, but it shouldn’t be surprising. The original 9/11 hijackers–bin Laden’s henchmen–were visiting strip clubs right before their suicide mission. Guilt over his porn addiction was allegedly one of the reasons 9/11 leader Mohammed Atta hated the West and wanted to atone for his sin by attaining the assurance of salvation available only to the martyrs who died waging jihad against the infidel. And if someone has so little conscience as to execute the mass murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children, why should we think he would have qualms about sexually explicit videos?
This is just more evidence of the paradox that legalism in religion does NOT mean more righteousness; rather, it tends to mean more unrighteousness. This is due to legalism’s spirit of self-righteousness, loophole hunting, and rationalization. And above all its lack of repentance and faith in Christ that alone can change a person from the inside and that bears good fruit.
ADDENDUM: The Daily Beast reports that Pakistan was found to be the leading nation in internet porn searches. Iran was third. Egypt was fifth.
I don’t think the prevalence of pornography in Islamic countries that insist that women be completely veiled should be dismissed as mere hypocrisy. I would argue that this manifestation of our sinful nature is the occasion of both guilt and hatred for the culture that has tempted them to such sin. Further, I suspect this is a factor in the rise of radical, jihadist Islam.