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Book on Prophet's sex life draws anger, threats

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An Egyptian female author has spoken out in defense of her controversial new book, Love and Sex in the Prophet's Life, which caused outrage after it was circulated at the Cairo International Book Fair last month [WS: January 2008].

"I wanted to explain sex from the real Islamic perspective and to make it the reference for having a healthy sexual life," writer Passant Rashad said in a statement to AlArabiya.net.


"When I mentioned the prophet I meant to demonstrate how his relationship with his wives was the perfect example of a healthy sexual life that is devoid of the complications Arabs try to impose on it these days."


But the book has drawn sharp criticism. Independent Egyptian MP Mustafa al-Gindi complained to the Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny, earlier this month [WS: February 2008] saying the book insults the Prophet and his wives, especially his third wife Aisha.


"The book contains parts about positions and orgasms, which is totally inappropriate for a book that had the prophet's name in its title," said Gindi.


A religious TV channel in
Egypt denounced the publication and hosted a series of sheikhs – Islamic leaders – who accused her of apostasy and called for her killing, even if she were to repent.

Meanwhile, Islamic thinker Gamal al-Banna called for an end to the fatwas on writers.


"This is a backward way to understand Islam. We have to eliminate this torrent of fatwas through reasoning and refutation of these lies. It is only then that those bloodshed Sheiks will find no audience."


He called upon Arab information ministers to ban televised fatwas that wreak havoc in society and make intellectuals live in constant fear.


"I kept silent, hoping this campaign will end or those sheiks will contact me to discuss the book, but none of that happened. Now I fear for my life," Rashad told AlArabiya.net.


In the aftermath of the fatwa, Rashad said that a bearded man came to her house on Thursday and threatened her.


"He banged on the door at two in the morning and asked my husband if I was the author whose bloodshed is sanctioned. He told him that many problems are coming my way, then left."


Rashad said she is not an apostate and would never insult the prophet. On the contrary, she said she aimed to refute the myths propagated by the enemies of Islam, who portray the prophet as obsessed with women.
-- Source: DUBAI (Farrag Ismail, AlArabiya.net)