Kamel Daoud: Sex and the Muslim World

"[S]ex in the Muslim world is sick, and... the disease is spreading."

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | April 6, 2016

Recently we discussed the case of Kamel Daoud, an Algerian citizen who has become one of Islam’s internal critics.  A celebrated writer, he was given an international platform at leading world newspapers.  His criticisms of Islam, however, brought a silencing punishment from liberal elites in the United States and Europe both.  At the last writing, two famous intellectuals had risen in a very public defense of him.  Michael Walzer and Paul Berman’s joint letter accused liberal Western intellectuals of destroying the very mechanisms by which any reform in the Islamic world might be possible.  That Daoud’s words about Islam were harsh, they pointed out, was merely because he unlike they had to live with it.

Apparently Walzer and Berman’s challenge was heeded, for the moment.  Daoud has been invited to contribute a piece to the New York Times, published in English, French, and Arabic.  Entitled “The Sexual Misery of the Muslim World,” it points out the connection between the Arab Spring — symbolized by Egypt’s Tahrir Square — and the sexual assaults in Cologne.

The piece is another strident criticism from a voice who has had to live among the consequences of what he criticizes.  He says that one of the darkest forces in “the so-called Arab world, and the Muslim world more generally, is its sick relationship with women.”

Daoud points out that the rise of Islamist thought coupled with a general prudishness has left the radical theologians as nearly the only voice in the public space on sexual matters.  Combined with the veiling and closeting of women, the Muslim world’s mental picture of sexual relations has become literally perverse.  Instead of pursuing sexual gratification through loving marriage and child rearing, sexual gratification is best had through death:

Orgasms are acceptable only after marriage — and subject to religious diktats that extinguish desire — or after death. Paradise and its virgins are a pet topic of preachers, who present these otherworldly delights as rewards to those who dwell in the lands of sexual misery. Dreaming about such prospects, suicide bombers surrender to a terrifying, surrealistic logic: The path to orgasm runs through death, not love.

He lists other ways in which the pursuit of Islamist sexual visions has led to perversity in these societies.  One striking example is that a man cannot be alone with a female colleague unless she has nursed him.  This fact was brought forward a decade ago by Daniel Pipes.  Lest anyone think Daoud is making this up, Pipes cites the Islamic cleric Izzat Atiyya’s fatwa recommending that adult men breastfeed from their female colleagues so that they can lawfully work together alone.  As of 2010, the fatwa had been reiterated by Saudi Minister of Justice cleric ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-Obikan.

As Daoud points out, the consequences of this sickness cannot be contained in the Muslim world.  Cologne is only the incident of the moment.  Unless the disease is addressed, we will all suffer from its effects.



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