Banning Muslim Women From Cucumbers Isn't Cool

cucumberI feel for American Muslims. The vast majority are law-abiding citizens trying to live a life of love and faith and fit in with the rest of society. They live in the suburbs, and drive minivans, and their kids are in soccer, and they even pay taxes. And yet they're the target of a ridiculous amount of hate and suspicion here. It makes me sad.

So it really doesn't help when a Muslim cleric comes out publicly with a nutter opinion -- even if that cleric lives far, far away. According to an Egyptian website, a cleric in Europe recommends Muslim women stay away from cucumbers, bananas, and other schlong-shaped produce to avoid having "sexual thoughts." Thanks, Muslim cleric in Europe -- that humdinger was super-helpful for the community!

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He laid that rotten egg when he was asked in an interview how Muslim men could "control" their women when they go grocery shopping. Oh -- and he added that if they really must eat or serve such foods, the men in their family could chop it up for them first. So nice to hear he's okay with men in the kitchen.

Needless to say, Muslims the world over (not just in the US) are just dying of embarrassment over this statement. Another extremist cleric making all Muslim practices look whacked-out. Great! They hit the online forms in response with their outrage, and I don't blame them one bit. Probably the best line came from a Tweet by journalist Helen Hajjij: "So if Muslim women should stay away from cucumbers and bananas, should men stay away from melons?"

Ha! Good one, Helen. See? Muslims have a sense of humor. Worst of all, the whole interview may just be a hoax. Interestingly, no one can find the interview online. But regardless, can we please just give Muslims a break and assume the Egyptian cleric's opinions do not reflect those of our American Muslim neighbors? It would be the Christian thing to do.

Do you think the cleric's words reflect the values of most Muslims in America? Or do you think they're damaging?

 

Image via karenandbrademerson/Flickr

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