The cleric, whose directive to women, featured in an article in el-Senousa News, advised women who want to eat or prepare any of these items for meals to get a "third party," preferably their father or husband to help them cut it up into pieces.
reports that the cleric said these vegetable items may arouse women and "make them think of sex" because they "resemble the male penis." The cleric advised that if a Muslim family has women who like any of these vegetables male members of the household should "take the food and cut it for them in a hidden place so they cannot see it."
The cleric, according to BikyaMasr.com
, allegedly made the statement when he was asked in an interview "how to 'control' women when they are shopping for groceries, and whether holding these items at the market would be bad." The cleric said, however, that in the final analysis the "matter is between them (women) and God."
News of the alleged statement by the Islamic cleric, identified only as sheik, has caused widespread derision and mockery on Internet forums causing considerable embarrassment to liberal Muslims. According to The International Business Times
, many of the critical comments on Internet came from Muslims who "expressed their anger against the cleric for making Islamic religious practices appear unreasonable."
reports that a Lebanese journalist Helen Hajjij, tweeted on Wednesday: “So if Muslim women should stay away from cucumbers and bananas, should men stay away from melons?”
reports that another Muslim complained online that "these religious 'leaders' give Islam 'a bad name.'" Yet another angry Muslim commenter said that the cleric "must quit his post immediately."
reports that questions have been raised on the accuracy of the originally published interview.