Thursday, January 19, 2006

Does the Islamic World
Need Their Own Version of Dr. Ruth?

There is a facinating article in the Guardian Unlimited By Brian Whitaker, called "Seminal questions". It's about things like scholars questioning the place of nudity in marriage, and Islamic clerics hotly debating exactly what sexual practices are acceptable to Islam.

Many clerics are issuing fatwas on the subject of sex, and some of these clerics are very, very ignorant of even very basic knowlege of sex. Others who are more educated, can still reach some bizaare conclusions, and some of the advice they give seems to be... conflicted.

I can't sumarize the entire article easily, it's chock full of stuff, but here are just a few excerpts to give you an idea:

A curious religious debate is raging in Egypt. The question is: should you keep your clothes on when having sex?

It began when Dr Rashad Khalil, an expert on Islamic law from al-Azhar university in Cairo warned that being completely naked during intercourse invalidates a marriage. His ruling was promptly dismissed by other scholars, including one who argued that "anything that can bring spouses closer to each other" should be permitted.

Another religious scholar suggested it was OK for married couples to see each other naked as long as they don't look at the genitals. To avoid problems in that area, he recommended having sex under a blanket.

It's not entirely clear whether Dr Khalil has considered the full implications of his edict. Doesn't the prospect of all those virile baton-wielding Egyptian riot policemen (for example) doing it in their boots and black uniforms sound just a little bit kinky? But we'll let that pass...

...Some of their answers about what "good Muslims" should or shouldn't do in bed are very explicit, so readers under 18 should stop here. While some of the advice is sensible, a lot of it is completely daft, so remaining readers over the age of 18 may wish to get a second opinion before putting it into practice...

... The "proven" medical effects of masturbation - which, of course, include damage to the eyesight - were once listed by Abd al-Aziz bin Baz, the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, and his list is reproduced on numerous Islamic websites. According to bin Baz, masturbation causes disruption of the digestive system, inflammation of the testicles, damage to the spine ("the place from which sperm originates"), and "trembling and instability in some parts of the body like the feet". In addition, there is a weakening of the "cerebral glands" leading to decreased intellect and even "mental disorders and insanity"...

There is lots more about other kinds of sex and situations, but since this isn't a sex blog I won't post all the details here, you will just have to read the article if you are curious.


UPDATE: You can see a related link to this topic at the blog of Plus Ultra.

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