Did you know that Islam approves of men who dress in women’s clothes? Sort of. Islamic scripture details several incidents where the prophet Mohammed protected men who preferred to dress as women. Thus it should be no surprise that, in Saudi Arabia, major clerics been conspicuous in not condemning the use of women’s clothing by terrorists. There have been several publicized (and many more unpublicized) incidents where terrorists were caught in drag. For example, last December 24th, an al Qaeda terrorist was killed while dressed as woman (in an abaya robe and veil) in Saudi Arabia. The suspect in woman’s clothes was killed at a police checkpoint after opening fire on security forces. The dead man was wanted for terrorist activities. The Saudis regularly catch terrorist suspects using this kind of disguise in an attempt to get past police checkpoints. Most of these incidents end in an arrest, not gunfire. But in October 2009, Saudi police killed two men dressed as women after the suspects were stopped in a car full of weapons and suicide bomb vests.
This type of disguise is frequently used by terrorists and criminals. While most Islamic clerics do not condemn such cross-dressing, the Koran comes right out and says this should not be done. Despite Mohammed’s lenient attitudes in this area, he was not condoning such practices, but simply trying to help these men to mend their ways and dress right. Pro-terrorist clerics take the position that, while on a Mission From God, anything is permissible.