The Fatwa Against Women Touching Bananas

Asra Nomani in The Daily Beast:

BanThis past week, an email pinged around the world, claiming that a Muslim cleric “residing in Europe” issued a, well, interesting fatwa, or religious ruling, banning Muslim women from touching bananas or cucumbers: “He said that these fruits and vegetables ‘resemble the male penis’ and hence could arouse women or ‘make them think of sex,'” according to a report in a supposed Egyptian website, BikyaMasr. The Times of India ran the story: “Islamic cleric bans women from touching bananas.” “If women wish to eat these food items, a third party, preferably a male related to them such as their a father or husband, should cut the items into small pieces and serve,” the cleric supposedly dictated.

…True or not, the possibility of such a fatwa underscores the long Ridiculist of fatwas, to borrow CNN host Anderson Cooper's nightly feature of news stories of the absurd. “That cleric is an idiot,” one Muslim wrote. “But what am I going to do now? I eat lots of bananas because I am vegetarian,” wrote Farzana Hassan, a progressive Canadian-Muslim leader. In our Muslim community, we've had enough comic fatwas to create our own Fatwa Ridiculist. Some of my nominees:

1. A man can work with a woman to whom he's not a brother, father, uncle, or son, if he drinks her breast milk first.
2. A husband can divorce his wife with a text message, declaring: “I divorce you. I divorce you. I divorce you.”
3. Muslim girls can't be tomboys.
4. Mickey Mouse is a corrupting influence and must die.
5. Emoticons are illegal.
6. You can't wear a Manchester United soccer jersey.
7. A husband and wife can't have sex naked.
8. Pokemon is as bad as Mickey Mouse.
9. Ditch the downward dog. Yoga is forbidden.
10. Girls above the age of 13 can't ride bikes. (See fatwa No. 3.)

To all of this I have only one thing to say: Please pass the banana split.

More here.