February 14, 2007

For Your Valentine's Pleasure

by PG

Maria Golia sees the sexy side of Islam:

Likewise, Hirsi Ali erroneously states that "there is a strict taboo in Muslim families on talking about birth control, abortion and sexual violence". Islam, like the Judaeo-Christian traditions, bans premarital sex, but it does not ban birth control. The Prophet Muhammad advocated coitus interruptus -- not the most effective means of family planning, but in keeping with Islam's encouragement of sexual activity as a source of marital pleasure, not solely of procreation. Egypt's state-sponsored birth control programmes began in the 1960s. In Iran, condoms manufactured in a government-operated facility are distributed through clinics and state-sponsored family planning centres. By contrast, the Vatican, which condemns "artificial" birth control, recently announced that its ban on condoms may be lifted -- for married couples where one partner is HIV-positive. Islam permits abortion only under certain circumstances, but several former Soviet countries with Muslim constituencies, as well as Tunisia and Turkey, allow it.
I would point out to Italian-American Golia that merely because Islam permits birth control and some abortion does not mean that discussing such things is not taboo within families; people assume because of the Kama Sutra that Hinduism celebrates sexuality, but I don't recommend carrying that attitude into most temples, no matter what kind of art they may have.

February 14, 2007 12:32 AM | TrackBack

Hey PG,

happy V-day to you too. My point is that it's hard to have 'a strict taboo' on something that's advertised on TV. A woman may opt out of birth control for whatever reason, but at least the choice exists and isn't considered sinful. Also, if you really want to hear about the 'sexy side' of Islam, check out Mohja Khaf's column 'sex and the ummah' on www.wakeupmuslim.com


Posted by: maria at February 17, 2007 03:35 AM


Thanks for your response. Birth control can be advertised without being something that families talk about. There are giant condoms on bilboards in Hyderabad, yet I've never talked about birth control (or much of anything relating to sex) with my parents -- and my Americanized family supposedly ought to be more liberal! Taboos within family, particularly about what parents will talk about with daughters, can be very different from what government or corporations think ought to be discussed.

Posted by: PG at February 26, 2007 06:29 PM
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