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New Study Exposes Scandalous Fatwas of Brotherhood and Salafis in Egypt

by Raymond Ibrahim

As the full ramification of the Muslim Brotherhood’s year in power continues to be exposed, a new study by Al Azhar’s Fatwa Committee dedicated to exploring the fatwas, or Islamic decrees, issued by the Brotherhood and Salafis—the Islamists—was recently published.

The Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, part of Al-Azhar University. (Image source: David Stanley)

Al Azhar, in Cairo, is considered by many to be one of the oldest and most prestigious Islamic universities in the world.  The study, written by Al Azhar’s Dr. Sayed Zayed, and entitled (in translation), “The Misguided Fatwas of the Muslim Brotherhood  and Salafis,” reveals a great deal about how Islamists view women.

The Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm summarized some of the Al Azhar study’s main findings and assertions on November 15 in a report entitled (in translation), “Muslim Brotherhood fatwas: A woman swimming is an ‘adulteress’ and touching bananas is ‘forbidden.’”

According to the report, “fatwas issued by both groups [Brotherhood and Salafis] regard women as strange creatures created solely for sex. They considered the voices of women, their looks and presence outside the walls of their homes an ‘offence.’ Some went as far as to consider women as a whole ‘offensive.’”

The study addressed 51 fatwas issued during the rule of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. Among them, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis “permitted wives to lie to their husbands concerning politics,” if the husband forbids her from being supportive of the Islamists or their agenda; she may then, through taqiyya [dissimulation] a Muslim doctrine that permits deceit to empower Islam, still be supportive of the Islamists while pretending to be against them.

The study similarly revealed that some of these fatwas decreed that women who swim in the sea are committing “adultery”—even if they wear a hijab: “The reason behind this particular fatwa, from their point of view, is that the sea is masculine [as with other languages, Arabic nouns are gender specific, and “sea” is masculine], and when the water touches the woman’s private parts she becomes an ‘adulteress’ and should be punished.”

Moreover, “Some of these fatwas also forbade women from eating certain vegetables or even touching cucumbers or bananas,” due to their  phallic imagery, which may tempt women to deviate….

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