Is Islam Evolving?

It used to be routine during the (so-called) Sexual Revolution to read stories about some wild-looking but charismatic dude in California creating his own cult to spread the good word. Everyone knew that what the dude was eager to spread had little to do with the official rationale. Still, many young and beautiful women seemed quite willing to join the cult to receive enlightenment during midnight services out in the woods. Members watched chanting and burning incense while the pastor provided individual instruction.

So, imagine my amazement when I came across a similar item online. No, not the wild and crazy ‘60s. Yes, to do with sex. No, not California but… Egypt. Huh?

A Muslim cleric delivered a fatwa recently to the effect that it’s okay for Muslim men to behave toward Muslim women in ways that (allegedly) are frowned upon under Islam. Note that Muslim men may do as they wish with non-Muslim women, as the bloodthirsty ISIS thugs are proving every day, but that’s another story.

As reported here, Salafist preacher Usama al-Qawsi, broadcasting on Egyptian-based Mehwar TV Channel, said a man may watch a woman while she is showering provided his intentions toward her are “pure.” Here is a translation of portions of al-Qawsi’s sermon:

If you were really honest and wanted to marry that woman, and you were able to hide and watch her in secret, see the things that she wouldn’t usually let you see before marrying her, then it is acceptable as long as your intentions are pure. One of the Prophet’s companions did that. Some disapproved and told him: "How do you do that when you’re one of the Prophet’s companions?" The Prophet answered: "If you can see something hat would make you want to marry her then go ahead and do it."   

Evidently Egyptian authorities were none too pleased with this interpretation of Islam. The country’s Minister of Religion, Mohammad Mukhtar, rejected the fatwa:

Where is the glory and masculinity in watching a woman shower? Would you allow this to happen to your daughter? If it was OK with you then it isn’t with the conservative, civilized Muslim and Christian societies -- they disapprove of it. Besides, Islam preaches that modesty should be in our nature and all religions concur.

OTOH, maybe al-Qawsi is on to something. Perhaps he was echoing Freud’s reminder that sexual inhibitions are a double-edged sword, telling the faithful they can loosen up a bit if they mean well; that Islam doesn’t require them to be “wrapped so tight” -- putting it in language his Cali counterpart might have used (as he inhaled.)

However, as my friends will confirm, my solution to achieving a “civilized Muslim society” (that’ll be the day) is… golf. What better proof can I offer that Iran is Public Enemy #1 because there’s only one golf course in the entire country, at least according to this website? Here’s the entry about Iran:

Despite the fact that golf is a symbol of the bourgeois west, it is rather popular with Tehran’s young women. Underneath the shadows of the Alborz Mountains in Tehran lies the country’s only golf course at Enghelab. It’s now only a 12-hole layout after the army decided to use most of the back nine for tank parking. Who knows, perhaps one day in the future, Iran may be at the forefront of golf. But for the moment it’s the preserve of young Iranian women.

So, Osama al-Qawsi needs to issue a… golf fatwa! He can prove that the golf course is a great place for Muslim men to meet Muslim women by citing Tehran as an example. No need to drill holes in shower walls any more. Impure thoughts are permitted on the golf course. However, I’m not holding my breath for ISIS goons to trade in their scimitars for 5-irons any time soon.

It used to be routine during the (so-called) Sexual Revolution to read stories about some wild-looking but charismatic dude in California creating his own cult to spread the good word. Everyone knew that what the dude was eager to spread had little to do with the official rationale. Still, many young and beautiful women seemed quite willing to join the cult to receive enlightenment during midnight services out in the woods. Members watched chanting and burning incense while the pastor provided individual instruction.

So, imagine my amazement when I came across a similar item online. No, not the wild and crazy ‘60s. Yes, to do with sex. No, not California but… Egypt. Huh?

A Muslim cleric delivered a fatwa recently to the effect that it’s okay for Muslim men to behave toward Muslim women in ways that (allegedly) are frowned upon under Islam. Note that Muslim men may do as they wish with non-Muslim women, as the bloodthirsty ISIS thugs are proving every day, but that’s another story.

As reported here, Salafist preacher Usama al-Qawsi, broadcasting on Egyptian-based Mehwar TV Channel, said a man may watch a woman while she is showering provided his intentions toward her are “pure.” Here is a translation of portions of al-Qawsi’s sermon:

If you were really honest and wanted to marry that woman, and you were able to hide and watch her in secret, see the things that she wouldn’t usually let you see before marrying her, then it is acceptable as long as your intentions are pure. One of the Prophet’s companions did that. Some disapproved and told him: "How do you do that when you’re one of the Prophet’s companions?" The Prophet answered: "If you can see something hat would make you want to marry her then go ahead and do it."   

Evidently Egyptian authorities were none too pleased with this interpretation of Islam. The country’s Minister of Religion, Mohammad Mukhtar, rejected the fatwa:

Where is the glory and masculinity in watching a woman shower? Would you allow this to happen to your daughter? If it was OK with you then it isn’t with the conservative, civilized Muslim and Christian societies -- they disapprove of it. Besides, Islam preaches that modesty should be in our nature and all religions concur.

OTOH, maybe al-Qawsi is on to something. Perhaps he was echoing Freud’s reminder that sexual inhibitions are a double-edged sword, telling the faithful they can loosen up a bit if they mean well; that Islam doesn’t require them to be “wrapped so tight” -- putting it in language his Cali counterpart might have used (as he inhaled.)

However, as my friends will confirm, my solution to achieving a “civilized Muslim society” (that’ll be the day) is… golf. What better proof can I offer that Iran is Public Enemy #1 because there’s only one golf course in the entire country, at least according to this website? Here’s the entry about Iran:

Despite the fact that golf is a symbol of the bourgeois west, it is rather popular with Tehran’s young women. Underneath the shadows of the Alborz Mountains in Tehran lies the country’s only golf course at Enghelab. It’s now only a 12-hole layout after the army decided to use most of the back nine for tank parking. Who knows, perhaps one day in the future, Iran may be at the forefront of golf. But for the moment it’s the preserve of young Iranian women.

So, Osama al-Qawsi needs to issue a… golf fatwa! He can prove that the golf course is a great place for Muslim men to meet Muslim women by citing Tehran as an example. No need to drill holes in shower walls any more. Impure thoughts are permitted on the golf course. However, I’m not holding my breath for ISIS goons to trade in their scimitars for 5-irons any time soon.

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