According to India Today, a report has been released in Al Masry Al Youm, also kno9wn as the Egyptian Independent, that translates to the title “”The Misguided Fatwas of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis”. I have been unable to find this report in the English version of the Independent, and have no way of knowing whether it is on the Arabic site. I like to find original sources when I can, but in this instance I can’t. So, this is sourced to India Today, which seems to be a close as I can get. Therefore, take this as an unconfirmed report. Anyway, India Today’s story claims some pretty extreme views on women.
According to the report, “the fatwas issued by both groups (the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis) regard women as strange creatures who are created solely for sex. They considered the voices of women, their looks and presence outside the walls of their homes an ‘offence’. Some even went as far as to consider women as a whole offensive.”…
When a woman goes swimming, as the word for sea is masculine, when “the water touches the woman’s private parts, she becomes an ‘adulteress’ and should be punished.”…
According to the report, “the fatwas issued by both groups (the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis) regard women as strange creatures who are created solely for sex. They considered the voices of women, their looks and presence outside the walls of their homes an ‘offence’. Some even went as far as to consider women as a whole offensive.”
Another fatwa prohibited women from “eating certain vegetables or even touching cucumbers or bananas”, due to their phallic imagery which could lead women down the wrong path.
Another fatwa directed women to “turn off the air conditioners at home in the absence of their husbands as this could indicate to a neighbour that the woman is at home alone and any of them could commit adultery with her”.
Another fatwa orders that girls as young as 10-years-old be married “to prevent them from deviating from the right path”.
Another prohibited girls from going to school more than 25km away from their homes.
A strange one said that a couple’s marriage would be annulled if they copulate with no clothes on.
Interestingly, one fatwa which made headlines all over the world was issued by the Al Azhar university which called for women to “breastfeed male acquaintances thereby making them relatives and justifying their mixed company”. The fatwa was, however, later retracted.
At the same time, some of these fatwas also sanctioned the use of women as human shields during violent demonstrations and protests.
The Muslim Brotherhood and Safalis are known for their extreme interpretation of Islam and their anti-woman stance, so these Fatwas are certainly believable to us. However, until the report is available, or at least summarized, in English, perhaps a bit of restraint might be called for before we begin any Muslim bashing.