Fatwas Are Stranger Than Fiction

Back in the 1990s, I wrote that Mohammed would probably lose a debate against Buddha or Jesus. This story confirms it. According to a New York Times article, the highest Moslem authorities in Egypt have just issued two fatwas (religious commandments) that don’t make any sense to me whatsoever. Honestly, if I was writing a satire or propaganda piece, with the intention of making Islam look bad, I couldn’t come up with anything as absurd as this, and expect anyone to believe me. Check out the story for yourself, if you think I made up what’s below:

A Compass That Can Clash With Modern Life

The first fatwa asserts that unmarried men and women can work together if the woman breast-feeds her male colleagues five times, thereby turning them into a “family.” The second claims that a woman who drank Mohammed’s urine in one of the hadiths, or traditions, was blessed because of it.

My, oh my. I suppose a need may have been seen for the first fatwa when Egypt industrialized; pre-industrial workshops and businesses would have been likely to hire mostly folks from the same family, or keep the sexes segregated. But that would have been two hundred years ago! Even back then, Egypt’s ruler, Mohammed Ali (1805-49), saw that modern industry would be useful, so why would the clerics wait until now to issue such a ruling? Worst than that, demanding that a woman breast-feeding anyone but her kid in the workplace sounds worse than the sexual harassment charges we normally hear about. Are any feminists listening to this?

And what’s the point of the second fatwa? I don’t think there’s any Mo-pee around today, so what good does it do anyone to know that story? Also, I’m not quite sure how many are affected by these fatwas. Since most Egyptians are Sunni Moslems, does this mean Shiites and Sufis can ignore such rulings?


Finally, the Times‘ sense of priorities puzzles me yet another time. As you can see in the picture above, this was a front-page story. By contrast, the story last week of a terrorist plot to blow up JFK Airport was buried on page 37, though that would affect the Times and its readers far more, had the plot been carried out. I guess they didn’t want the terrorist story to get in the way of the all-important book reviews.

So what do I make of all this? If there are any Moslems reading this blog, tell me that I’m wrong, or that this story is false. Islam is not going to get any cultured, intelligent converts in the West by issuing silly declarations like these. Yes, I hang out with Christians and Jews who are accused of being irrational (and we often are), but compared with those who believe in workplace breast-feeding, the virtues of Mo-pee, or rioting because of some Danish cartoons about Mohammed, we must seem quite logical and level-headed.

It seems to me that Islam is mainly interested in spreading through two methods: either by having more babies than everyone else, or by conquering the non-Moslem world (Dar al-Harb) through force of arms. All other means of conversion, like simply convincing someone that Islam is better than other religions, are unimportant by comparison. It makes me wonder why the Saudis spend so much on mosques and madrassas abroad, if they would rather promote their faith by the sword or by the maternity ward.

If you get your news off the Internet, you know there’s some great satire in cyberspace, like The Onion, The Borowitz Report, and Scrappleface. So far those satires have succeeded because you’re tempted to believe the stories are real, but this is getting to be such a bizarro world that I’m starting to have trouble telling truth from the jokes.

“You know the world is not right when:
The best rapper is white,
The best golfer is black,
The tallest basketball player is Chinese,
France is accusing the US of arrogance,
and Germany doesn’t want to go to war!”
–Basketball star Charles Barkley

One response to “Fatwas Are Stranger Than Fiction

  1. Pingback: What a Bunch of Sickos | The Xenohistorian Weblog

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