You may have heard by now that some Islamic cleric banned women from touching bananas and cucumbers. The Daily Beast's Asra Q. Nomani points out that "It's hard to confirm that the fatwa is true."
However, Asra also notes that:
[The] fact that we, in the Muslim community, would even think it's possible is a reflection of just how inane the phenomenon of fatwas has become in the Muslim community. The idea of the fatwa became notorious when an Iranian cleric called for the killing of author Salman Rushdie when he published the novel The Satanic Verses, about an erased portion in the Koran supposedly inspired by the Devil.
The fatwas used to carry the authority of divine ordination. But the years since have revealed that, indeed, there is nothing to fear -- or revere -- about the fatwa. In fact, nowadays, you can get a fatwa to validate any point you want to make. I call it "fatwa shopping."
To prove her point, she has created her own Fatwa Ridiculist, listing fatwas that prohibit girls above the age of 13 from riding bicycles, to the one where a man can work with a woman to whom he's not a brother, father, uncle, or son, but only if he drinks her breast milk first.
You should follow Asra on Twitter because she's awesome.
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