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Joe Holley

Here's a disconcerting bit of information from New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristoff -- disconcerting, that is, if you're a Muslim fundamentalist suicide bomber.

Kristoff reports today that a scholar at a recent international conference on the Koran at the University of Notre Dame suggested that the "houri" promised to Heaven-bound martyrs doesn't mean "virgin" after all. The scholar, who used the pseudonym Christoph Luxenberg for safety, argues that the word should be translated as "grapes." Kristoff found the argument plausible, since conceptions of paradise involved bounteous fruit.

Presumably, your everyday suicide bomber enjoys grapes as much as the next man, but blowing yourself to bits for a bowl of 72 grapes -- even if they're seedless -- would probably be something of a letdown..

By Joe Holley  |  April 23, 2009; 1:17 PM ET
Categories:  Joe Holley  
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