ISIS fighters living in Mosul, the largest city under control of the Islamic State, are about to get a look at Western culture, but only a peek.
A restaurant modelled on the U.S. chain Hooters is set to open at the start of next month in this city of 750,000. According to a press release, the restaurant, called Peepers, will be staffed by male ISIS sympathizers but will employ at least 10 female infidels wearing veils with wide, provocative slits that reveal the entire eye as well as eyebrows and the edges of rosy, bruised cheeks.
More conservative residents of the caliphate may worry that such scanty attire will entice young fighters to spend all their time in the restaurant looking at eyes while masturbating under the table, but the restaurant’s backers say security staff will enforce a strict “no petting the striped hyena” policy.
The 2500-square-foot establishment, set in a former cafe on the banks of the Tigris River, will serve a variety of traditional Iraqi dishes, as well as some from as far away as Somalia and the U.K..
While a few vocal critics in the Islamic State say that the entrepreneurs behind Peepers are coming dangerously close to violating Sharia — and should be promptly executed in the nearest public square — leading religious scholars say there’s no reason to start lopping off heads.
Ibrahim Jabril, an Islamic jurisprudence expert and one of the project’s many investors, says that while the concept may seem like it veers close to the Western practice of permitting women to show skin, allowing men to peek at the corners of an infidel woman’s face is actually a good way to prevent them from seeking out photos of necks or even entire arms.
“These women, if we may call them that, are subhuman, so if we can use them to prevent libidinous fighters from casting their lusty gazes on pious Muslim women, so be it,” he said. “Look, Peepers will be a great place for weary jihadis to enjoy delicious food in a casual, fun environment. Even the Quran says that those engaged in holy war need some downtime with their bros.”
Turning Peepers into a profitable enterprise could prove difficult, however, as U.S. and Iraqi air strikes and Kurdish attacks from the east might keep most potential customers away. Also, taxes in the Islamic State are extremely high, with up to a third of income paid to support militant activity, and an obligatory 20 percent set aside for a tribute called “khums” to be paid directly to Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. To make matters worse, the cost of training new servers could be prohibitive, due to high turnover as some women might try to escape, while others might be killed at home by their captors for refusing to allow themselves to be raped.
“This was never about getting rich,” said Ali, a militant from Tikrit who used to run underground gambling operations, but has now been charged with managing Peepers. “We just want to make sure that in between throwing acid in the faces of school girls, dismembering Christians, and tossing homosexual men from roofs, we all get to have a little fun.”
Already, there are some complaints in the Islamic State’s ever-shrinking feminist community that Peepers contributes to the objectification of women’s ocular regions, but these voices of dissent are expected to be completely extinguished in the upcoming months as civilian religious police continue to punish any woman who so much as farts in public.
As for future customers of Peepers, many say they are not interested in the beautiful eyes of the subhuman creatures who will likely be forced to work there — just the items on the menu.
“Like I tell my wife, I’ll only go to Peepers for the falafel balls,” said gasoline smuggler Hashim Sabah, 45. “If I want to see a woman’s forehead, I can do that at home.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that captors had to go along in person with applicants. However, an advertisement printed in Dabiq, the Islamic State’s magazine that’s popular among foreign jihadis, says that “applicants may instead bring a consent form signed by their legal captors.” Also, we erroneously implied that only Yazidi women would be employed, but we have since been informed that any infidel female will be considered.