Spittoon goes bananas with Forbidden Fruit Fatwa
The Ridiculous Islamic Fatwa ™ industry is the gift that keeps on giving. Here is the latest: “Islamic cleric bans women from touching bananas, cucumbers for sexual resemblance”
Except that there is no actual proof of this as Tabsir notes:
Drowning out a semblance of nuance are the Islamophobes who are having a field day with the spate of silly fatwas coming out of Egypt (and elsewhere). Within the last couple of days it seems like The Onion has been scooped by sites like Jihad Watch.
Then there is the anonymous Egyptian cleric who has apparently warned women not to touch cucumbers, zucchini or carrots because they resemble a penis and will thus arouse the women. So they should have a male cut these vegetables for them, as women obviously still need to do the cooking. I suppose it has not occurred to this fellow that if a man picks up a cucumber and thinks it looks like a penis, that this kind of homosexual thought should be even worse.
As an excellent article at the American Muslim points out:
There was supposedly a fatwa written which would deserve ridicule if it exists. The original article about this was posted on Bikyamasr, an Egyptian news site, and the article was written by an individual named Manar Ammar. Manar Ammar is identified as a Senior Reporter and Women’s Editor for Bikyamasr.com.
The article quotes an UNNAMED Islamic Cleric residing in Europe who “has banned women from touching bananas, cucumbers and other elongated fruit and vegetable due to their sexual resemblance” The Bikyamasr article refers to the source as “The unnamed sheikh, who was featured in an article on el-Senousa news”.
I tried searching for el-Senousa news, but got nowhere. There is no site for any such entity. I can find nothing about them searching the net except for hundreds of articles reposting the article from Bikyamasr which mentions el-Senousa as its source.
Muna Khan at al Arabiya reports the same problems I had in finding the actual source of this story, and says “According to the Canadian news site Straight.com, it’s been difficult to find the El-Senousa site on which Bikya Masr based its article on. A simple search of the website takes you to a list of articles on the story being quoted but not to the main site itself.” She points out that there have been enough of what I call “stupid fatwas” to make anything easy to believe, but, it is an irresponsible rush to judgement to just assume something is true and publish it without any fact checking.
I found the article from Straight here, and it says “That’s some pretty good flame-bait, but is it legit? According to the article in bikyamasr.com, the story originally appeared on something called “el-Senousa news”, but good luck finding it. In fact, a Google search for “el-Senousa news” only points back—many times over—to the article in bikyamasr.com. Between that and the somewhat intangible location and identity of the “unnamed sheikh” in the article, the tale of the vegetable-fearing Mullah is starting to look a little short on authenticity. What’s more likely is that the independent news service bikyamasr.com is reacting to the troubling emergence of the hard-line Salafi Al-Nou party in Egypt’s (reportedly fraud-ridden) election—a story that, sadly, isn’t so cockamamie.
Indeed the Bikyamasr website have since admitted as much:
Thank you for your email. I am Joseph Mayton, the Editor and Founder of Bikyamasr.com. I would like to bring your attention to the corrected version of the article, which now has the appropriate name of the publication where the information first appeared in Arabic, with a link.
We take full responsibility for this error and have stated so on the article. It is unfortunate that it has been taken out of context, but we feel that by talking about the anger it initially sparked was properly done. At the end, these places are going to take any little bit of information for their own purposes. It is sad.
I hope you will understand that we do our utmost to source anything from a third party, as any other news website would.
If you have any other questions, or would like to interview me, or our staff, please let us know.
Thank you very much for the email, Joseph
As with the notorious case of the Brussels Journal it illustrates Faisal Gazi’s dependence on dubious and/or extreme sources, so long as they are anti-Muslim.
It yet again illustrates Spittoon’s shoddy journalism and another possible reason why Faisal Gazi was rejected by both the Guardian and Pickled Politics: