Should Muslim women shun bananas, cucumbers and zucchinis?

An Islamic cleric says they must if they are to avoid sexual temptation. However, Egyptian news columnists are just embarrassed.

BY: Rob Kerby


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speech and movement ─ and it is their narrative that gets the most press, even if only because it makes for salacious reading.”

Khan cites recent articles, such as fears expressed by a Saudi scholar that allowing women to drive could lead to all forms of societal perversions. Another Egyptian politician announced that any female candidates in ongoing Egyptian elections should appear in public only if dressed in a head-to-toe burkha and should not speak aloud unless addressed by males. Another Egyptian politician made headlines when he said Egyptian antiquities violate Muslim prohibitions against “graven images” — and that if elected, he would ensure that the faces on Egypt’s 6,000-year-old monuments’ would be covered with beeswax.

Aliaa Mahdy

Should the news media ignore these stories? Aliaa Mahdy doesn’t think so. The Egyptian activist posted a full-frontal nude photo of herself on the Internet recently — protesting the repression of Egyptian women.

“The posting of her naked body left Egyptians and Arabs angry,” notes columnist Joseph Meyton on Egypt’s Bikya Masr.  ”Hate and condemnation quickly followed. Ironically, despite all the hatred purported in her direction, millions of people logged onto her blog to see her picture, with even lewd comments being posted. For Mahdy, it was a symbolic protest against the status of women in Egypt and across the Arab world. She said ‘enoug’h to the centuries of male-domination meted out to women in the country and the region. It launched a debate over women’s rights, or rather, ‘what is appropriate

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Related Topics: Islam, Women Rights