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Burkas for Babies

A Saudi cleric has issued a fatwa calling for female babies to wear burkas, in order to protect them from sexual abuse. Sheikh Abdullah Daoud apparently bases his ruling on a theory that the sight of even infantile female flesh will induce some number of Muslim men to commit acts of rape and abuse, but that this can be prevented by simply covering up the irresistible babies.

This fatwa seems to have been a bit too much even for many of the cleric’s fellow Saudi Muslims. He has been fairly widely condemned for his recommendation, even attracting the scorn of Sheikh Mohammad al-Jzlana, a former judge at the Saudi Board of Grievances, who complains that the whole baby burkas idea might make “Islam look bad.” Jzlana remarked that he “feels sad” when he spies a burka-clad baby, because he feels this represents an “injustice to children.” He did not comment on why the more usual employment of burkas did not constitute an injustice toward women.

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