Posts Tagged ‘islam’

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X Islam +18

March 25, 2012

Why Islamic clergies are obsessed by the sexual life of the believers? Why their entire genie is focused on erotic and sexual jurisprudence? Why instead of finding solutions to the daily real problems of Muslims such as health, education and elementary goods prices rise, they would rather compete who will release the most bizarre X Fatwa? Most of us prefer to laugh about these Fatwas and share them on social media with their friends, but after a while I stopped finding it funny and decided to denounce this furry of odd Islamic instructions without reserve because I will not let some sick ‘’Sheikh’’ with a two mitres long beard and a questionable Islamic studies degree tell Me, the standard honourable Muslim, how to live my life!

We all remember the Egyptian Sheikh who asked women to breastfeed their colleagues at work so they will all become ‘’breastfeeding sons’’, and the women can go to work freely starting from that moment! This ignorant religious man, who obviously ignores everything about adult sexuality and psychology, seems not considering that an adult woman giving her breast to an adult man is a sexual act and moreover in all professional ethics around the world it would be a scandal to have such practices in working spaces!

More absurd were the recent Saudi religious statements that women shouldn’t drive cars because driving can make them loose their virginity! Are you serious? I really don’t see the difference between sitting on a comfortable couch and sitting on a car seat, or did the generous Saudi Sheikhs did a special experiment that we don’t know about on car seat and found hidden phalluses who target women while driving. And if true in that case the hidden phalluses must have targeted their manly fat behinds as well!

Another Fatwa was advising that women shouldn’t eat cucumbers or bananas because their shape can suggest a male phallus, which according to the same bizarre Islamic jurisprudence would push women to commit the deadly sin of flesh. I will respond by saying in that case we should stop men from eating peaches, plums and apples or any circular fruits that may suggest a female breast. We can push our sick imagination to the extremes and ban men from smoking Shisha, because of the homosexual act it can imply! If God wanted us to have a special dietary according to our gender, I think he would have said so in the abandon literature he sent us.

The Egyptian Salafi presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Smail, who was a Sheikh in a recent past life, has his own bizarre theories, as he was suggesting few years ago to cover all pharaonic statutes with giant underwear not to show their flesh because, according to him, these monuments were symbols of pagan idolatry. Imagine with me one second what Egypt would be without its mummies and hieroglyphs and how we’ll have to print new postcards of Egypt with the Sphinx wearing a giant dipper!

Morocco is not an exception to this sexual fever, as we have our own parliamentarian, the very emancipated and liberal Sheikh Zamzami, who stood last year for the freedom of masturbation and who was back this year with the brilliant fatwa which says that sex toys are Halal to release the frustration of women! All this in a schizophrenic country where a first sex toy shop was just opened in Casablanca while the sexist law forced the minor Amina Filali to marry her rapist according to the article 475 in order to save her family’s ‘’honour’’!

This obsession of some Islamic clergies by sex as one of the main taboos in our region, enhanced by media and social media where the users would always choose to share the sensational and bizarre news, is a very dangerous phenomena which not only compromises the image of Islam in the world picturing Muslims as sexual animals, but also makes the standard open minded Muslim like myself feel ashamed of these reductionist instructions and want to grow a beard and release a Fatwa to kill all this frustrated Sheikhs!

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Wine Sector in Islamic Morocco

April 8, 2009

MEKNES, Morocco – On paper, wine is ‘haram,’ or forbidden to Muslims, but Morocco has become one of the largest winemakers in the Muslim world, with the equivalent of 35 million bottles produced last year. Wine brings the state millions in sales tax, even though Islam appears to be on the rise politically

The gently rolling hills planted thick with vineyards are an unlikely sight for a Muslim country set partly in the deserts and palms of North Africa. Yet the grapes, and the wine they produce, are thriving in Morocco despite Islam’s ban on alcohol consumption.

Morocco has become one of the largest winemakers in the Muslim world, with the equivalent of 35 million bottles produced last year. Wine brings the state millions in sales tax, even though Islam appears to be on the rise politically.

“Morocco is a country of tolerance,” said Mehdi Bouchaara, the deputy general manager at the Celliers de Meknes, the country’s largest winemaker, which bottles over 85 percent of the national output. “It’s everybody’s personal choice whether to drink or not.”

The Celliers have flourished on this tolerance. The firm now cultivates 2,100 hectares of vineyards, bottling everything from entry-level table wine to homemade champagne and high-end claret; its Chateau Roslane claret is aged in a vaulted cellar packed with oak barrels imported from France. The winery now dwarfs virtually any other producer in Europe.

Wine is haram on paper

On paper, wine is “haram,” or forbidden to Muslims. But Bouchaara said the firm’s distribution is legal since it only sells to traders authorized by the state, who in turn officially sell exclusively to non-Muslim tourists.

Statistics, however, show that Moroccans consume on average 1 liter of wine per person each year, and the Moroccan state itself is the largest owner of the country’s 12,000 hectares of vineyards.

The paradox illustrates Morocco’s delicate balancing act. The rapidly modernizing country thrives on tourism and trade with Europe, but its people remain deeply conservative. Morocco’s ruler, King Mohammed VI, is also “commander of the believers” and protector of the faith. Islamists authorized to take part in politics are the second-largest force in Parliament, while support for non-authorized groups is believed to be even larger.

Despite this uncertain setting for wine culture, the Celliers’ owner, Brahim Zniber, is among the country’s richest people. His group employs 6,500 people, nearly all of them Muslim, and revenues rose to 225 million euros last year. Its three biggest sources of income are wine production with the Celliers de Meknes, hard liquor imports and Coca-Cola bottling.

Zniber’s latest ventures, in addition to a new Moroccan champagne, include plans to build a luxury hotel offering the country’s first “vinotherapy” spa resort, with health-care creams and baths based on grape products.

But the group has also tested the limits of the gray zone it operates in. The wine festival it helped promote in 2007 caused protests in nearby Meknes, a deeply religious city of 500,000 run until recently by an Islamist mayor.

“The festival was an unnecessary provocation,” said Aboubakr Belkora, the former mayor who was slammed by his own Islamist group, the Justice and Development Party, for halfheartedly authorizing the gathering in the center of town.

The ex-mayor said that “for religious reasons,” he uprooted about 100 hectares of vineyards from his own fields but has no qualms with others making or drinking wine.

Others feel there is some hypocrisy to the practice.

Hassan, a restaurant manager, said he wasn’t allowed a license to serve alcoholic drinks because he is Muslim. “But everyone knows we serve wine with our food,” he said, pointing at the restaurant’s patrons, both foreign and Moroccan, sipping their wine over dinner.

Another owner in Meknes, who also requested anonymity because of his practices, said he serves wine in tinted glasses, keeps bottles out of sight, and tells clients to say they were drinking soft drinks if questioned. “Police rarely come, and if they do they never look inside the glass,” he said.

These practices reflect a much more lenient culture than in other Muslim countries.

27 million bottles per year

Within Morocco’s more favorable context, the Celliers winery sells 27 million bottles per year, mostly inside the country. Two million bottles head to Europe or the United States and the firm is planting another 800 hectares of grapes to meet new demand from China, said Jean-Pierre Dehut, a former liquor-store owner in Belgium hired as the Celliers’ export manager.

By the size of the huge new bottling plant it is building and the 450 people it employs, the Celliers is more on-par with the new, industrial-scaled wine businesses in Australia, Chile or California than with Europe’s often family-owned domains. But Dehut stressed that Morocco has made wine for at least 2,500 years, since the Phoenicians colonized its coast. “This country exported wine to Rome during the Roman Empire,” he said.

Winemaking soared during the French colonial era, which lasted more than 50 years until the country’s independence in 1956.

By then, hundreds of vineyards planted with French vines Ğ mostly centered on the sunny plateau around Meknes in northern Morocco Ğ churned out some 300 million hectoliters each year.

AP