Currant Affairs

The Harry’s Place comments boxes have recently become a forum of debate over whether Islamic martyrs are to be repaid in heaven with three score and twelve virgins or whether the reward was actually a more prosaic collection of dried fruit.

Philip Roe writing to the Spectator thinks he has the answer – both:

When Islam was important, emissaries were sent all over Europe to kidnap women for the harem in Istanbul, where they were forced to devote their lives to gratifying the Sultan’s every whim. These unfortunate ladies were called sultanas.