Women head to Middle East for sexual jihad

Kuala Lumpur - At least three Sunni Muslim women from Malaysia have travelled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State militants, a report said on Wednesday.

"These women are believed to have offered themselves in sexual comfort roles to Isis fighters who are attempting to establish Islamic rule in the Middle East," an unnamed intelligence official was quoted as saying by the Malaysian Insider news portal.

The move follows a decree issued by Islamic State fighters in June ordering families to send their unmarried women for Jihad al-Nikah, or sexual jihad, he was quoted as saying.

"This concept may seem controversial but it has arisen as certain Muslim women here are showing sympathy for the ISIS struggle", he said.

He also said intelligence from other countries indicated that several women were among the Sunni Muslims from Australia and Britain who have joined up with the militants in the Middle East.

The 600 British citizens fighting alongside them "includes British Muslim women who are not fighting on the front line, but are still involved by performing sexual jihad", he said.

The concept of sexual jihad was reportedly first coined in a 2013 edict by a fundamentalist Wahhabi cleric, telling women to offer sexual services to help the morale of those fighting against Bashar Assad's regime in Syria.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday condemned the militants for the alleged mass executions and killings of unarmed civilians in Syria and Iraq.

Such action were "counter to our faith, our culture, and our common humanity", he said. "They are against the teachings of the Prophet, a man of peace and moderation; and against Islamic law, which prizes the protection of life above all."