In the Islamic Republic of Iran, all politics may not be sexual, but all sex is political.
BY KARIM SADJADPOUR | MAY/JUNE 2012
In the early years of the Iranian Revolution, an obscure cleric named Ayatollah Gilani became a sensation on state television by contemplating bizarre hypotheticals at the intersection of Islamic law and sexuality. One of his most outlandish scenarios — still mocked by Iranians three decades later — went like this:
Imagine you are a young man sleeping in your bedroom. In the bedroom directly below, your aunt lies asleep. Now imagine that an earthquake happens that collapses your floor, causing you to fall directly on top of her. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that you’re both nude, and you’re erect, and you land with such perfect precision on top of her that you unintentionally achieve intercourse. Is the child of such an encounter halalzadeh (legitimate) or haramzadeh (a bastard)?
Back in May 2007, Dr. Izzat Atiya, head of Al Azhar University‘s Department of Hadith, issued a fatwa, or Islamic legal decree, saying that female workers should “breastfeed” their male co-workers in order to work in each other’s company. According to the BBC:
He said that if a woman fed a male colleague “directly from her breast” at least five times they would establish a family bond and thus be allowed to be alone together at work. “Breast feeding an adult puts an end to the problem of the private meeting, and does not ban marriage,” he ruled. “A woman at work can take off the veil or reveal her hair in front of someone whom she breastfed.”
One of many satirical cartoons that appeared in Egypt in response to the “adult breastfeeding” fatwas: the man says, “I have some cookies and am only here to breastfeed for breakfast.”
Atiya based his fatwa on a hadith—a documented saying or doing of Islam’s prophet Muhammad and subsequently one of Sharia law’s sources of jurisprudence.
Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 10 Issue: 5
March 8, 2012 11:35 AM Age: 1 days
By: Elie Issa
The GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif Al Zayani (L) sits next to Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Saud Al Faisal (R) during a ministerial meeting of the six Gulf nations in Riyadh (AFP/Getty Images)
With growing talk of a political confederation of the Arab states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister, Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, has raised the possibility of transforming the existing Peninsula Shield Force [PSF] into a “unified Gulf army” able to respond to external and domestic security threats. The Saudi prince made it clear that inspiration for this suggestion was the perceived threat from Iran: “Iran is our neighbor, but we draw a line when it comes to intervention in our internal affairs as ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’ countries. Whenever we feel that anybody is interfering in our internal affairs through internal mercenaries or people from outside, we will resist it appropriately” (Al-Seyassah [Kuwait], March 3; Arab Times, March 3). The PSF, with a permanent base in Saudi Arabia, was successfully deployed in March, 2011 to end violent street protests by Bahrain’s Shiite minority (see Terrorism Monitor Brief, March 24, 2011).