Yes, he’s read the reports that a Muslim cleric announced women should not touch cucumbers, carrots or bananas lest they become sexually impure, admits Egyptian newspaper editor Muna Khan in the Cairo daily newspaper al-Arabiya.
And Khan says he is just shaking his head in disbelief.
Women should not touch bananas, according to the cleric.
“Sometimes a cleric has to issue an edict for the jokes to write themselves,” he writes. “This was evidenced on Thursday in a so-called edict by a Muslim cleric calling for a ban on women touching phallic resembling fruit. It was bound to elicit outrage and ridicule alike.
“The brouhaha erupted after the publication of a report in the Egyptian newspaper Bikya Masron Thursday which was quoting the website al-Senousa in which an unnamed cleric in Europe said that women shouldn’t touch fruit/vegetables like bananas, cucumbers, carrots and courgettes because they resembled male genitalia. The only way women could eat these fruit was if there presented to them by ‘a third party, preferably a male related to them such as their father or husband should cut the items into small pieces and serve it to them’ the newspaper quotes the cleric as saying.”
The international response has been predictable, laments Khan. ”It set social media forums aflame with Twitter users suggesting other fruit that should be banned for resembling female anatomy. The ludicrousness of the matter also attracted the attention of news outlets, many of whom ran the story ─ and everyone had a good laugh, a good cry while a whole lot of Muslims hung their heads in shame.
“It was a good day on Twitter for cucumber jokes. Granted, this supposed cleric wouldn’t be the first to make ridiculous pronouncements or paint Muslims in psychodelic colors. That silly ‘judgments’ posing as fatwas are routinely passed, and unquestioningly so ─ just this past Tuesday we published a story on a slew of fatwas by Egyptian Salafis, including one banning women from wearing high heels outside their homes ─ is depressing.