Translating Words, Interpreting Events

New Study Exposes Scandalous Fatwas of Brotherhood and Salafis in Egypt

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Gatestone Institute

As the full ramification of the Muslim Brotherhood’s year in power continues to be exposed, a new study by Al Azhar’s Fatwa Committee dedicated to exploring the fatwas, or Islamic decrees, issued by the Brotherhood and Salafis—the Islamists—was recently published.

The Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, part of Al-Azhar University. (Image source: David Stanley)

Al Azhar, in Cairo, is considered by many to be one of the oldest and most prestigious Islamic universities in the world.  The study, written by Al Azhar’s Dr. Sayed Zayed, and entitled (in translation), “The Misguided Fatwas of the Muslim Brotherhood  and Salafis,” reveals a great deal about how Islamists view women.

The Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm summarized some of the Al Azhar study’s main findings and assertions on November 15 in a report entitled (in translation), “Muslim Brotherhood fatwas: A woman swimming is an ‘adulteress’ and touching bananas is ‘forbidden.’”

According to the report, “fatwas issued by both groups [Brotherhood and Salafis] regard women as strange creatures created solely for sex. They considered the voices of women, their looks and presence outside the walls of their homes an ‘offence.’ Some went as far as to consider women as a whole ‘offensive.’”

The study addressed 51 fatwas issued during the rule of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. Among them, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis “permitted wives to lie to their husbands concerning politics,” if the husband forbids her from being supportive of the Islamists or their agenda; she may then, through taqiyya [dissimulation] a Muslim doctrine that permits deceit to empower Islam, still be supportive of the Islamists while pretending to be against them.

The study similarly revealed that some of these fatwas decreed that women who swim in the sea are committing “adultery”—even if they wear a hijab: “The reason behind this particular fatwa, from their point of view, is that the sea is masculine [as with other languages, Arabic nouns are gender specific, and “sea” is masculine], and when the water touches the woman’s private parts she becomes an ‘adulteress’ and should be punished.”

Moreover, “Some of these fatwas also forbade women from eating certain vegetables or even touching cucumbers or bananas,” due to their  phallic imagery, which may tempt women to deviate.

Other fatwas decreed that “it is unacceptable for women to turn the air conditioning on at home during the absence of their husbands as this could be used as a sign to indicate to neighbors that the woman is at home alone and any of them could commit adultery with her.”

One fatwa suggested that marriage to ten-year-old girls should be allowed to prevent girls “from deviating from the right path,” while another prohibited girls from going to schools located 25 kilometers away from their homes.  Another stated that a marriage is annulled if the husband and wife copulate with no clothes on.

These fatwas also sanctioned the use of women and children as human shields in violent demonstrations and protests, as these are considered jihads to empower Islam.

Even slavery was permitted, according to the study: “the people who issued these fatwas [Brotherhood and/or Salafi members] demanded the enactment of a law allowing divorced women to own slaves,” presumably to help her, as she no longer has a man to support her.

An earlier report (summarized in English here) listed some other fatwas issued by the Brotherhood and Salafis during Morsi’s tenure: advocating for the destruction of the pyramids and sphinx; scrapping the Camp David Accords; killing anyone protesting against ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (which happened and is one of the main charges against the imprisoned Brotherhood leadership); forbidding Muslims from greeting Christians; forbidding Muslim cab drivers from transporting Christian priests (whose clothing makes them identifiable); forbidding TV shows that mock or make light of Islamists; and forbidding women from marrying any men involved with the former Mubarak government.

Predictably, the Al Azhar study criticizing the Brotherhood/Salafi fatwas concludes by saying that only al Azhar, which styles itself as a moderate institution, is qualified to issue fatwas.  Of course, one of the most sensational of all fatwas—“adult breastfeeding,” which called on women to “breastfeed” strange men, thereby making them relatives and justifying their mixed company—was issued by Al Azhar, but later retracted.   And it is apparently this retracting that makes Al Azhar more moderate than the Brotherhood.

Meanwhile, the Salafis—who, in light of the Brotherhood’s ousting have become Islam’s standard bearers—continue successfully to push for strict Sharia interpretations, the very sort that justify the above fatwas,  in Egypt’s new constitution.

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  • Ranchman

    These people are truly sick and twisted. What other explanation is possible? They’re 7th century, in every way. Yet, in Western countries in the 7th century, there was progress of one sort or another. How is it possible that a group of people, stuck in the 7th century, who are murderous, extremely bigoted toward women, totally backwards civilization wise, and suck their host countries dry through welfare fraud and other means, can force their agenda on everyone else in the world and effectively hold them hostage. None of this makes any sense, and yet Barack Hussein Obama (who is one of them and I don’t care what anyone says) supports them and wants to give them whatever they want. Islam is at war with everything non-muslim and is at war with America. We had better wrap our heads around that and prepare for it.

    • DB


  • Marbran

    I’m still trying to puzzle out the air conditioning fatwa. Wouldn’t leaving the AC on lead people to assume the husband was at home, and if it is off then he isn’t home?


      Trying to make sense out of any of these twisted “edicts” would severely tax a sane person’s mind. Best to just laugh them off for the idiotic rantings of perverted minds and let it go at that.

  • aloysiusmiller

    I think that a banana could very well tempt a Muslim woman. In all her divorces and temporary marriages she has never had an encounter that would match a banana.

  • NewClassTraitor

    Judith Miller, in “G-d has Ninety-Nine names”, tells of some whackadoodle sheikh called Abdel Hamid al-Kishk, who claimed that in paradise the faithful would have 72 young boys to molest. Other clerics, supposedly, disputed the possibility of pederasty in paradise.


  • TheRealRightway

    Did Obama suggest the air conditioner one, sounds like his sort of ‘logic’.
    And what about the 6 hour rule for intercourse with dead wives?!