Promiscuous Produce

21Jan08

Cucumber and tomatoThe Times of London recently found witnesses in Diyala province in Iraq who claim an extremely Salafist version of Islam is being enforced. New rules include breaking heavy smokers’ fingers and—get this—several new standards of decency, such as preventing grocers from displaying bananas in markets, and making sure cucumbers are kept far away from tomatoes (so as to avoid any obscene implications). “At the most extreme level,” the Times reported, “shepherds have even been ordered to cover the nether regions of their goats to avoid offending strict Salafist sensibilities. A doctor from Baquba who recently spoke to The Times said he always written off such absurd tales as rumours. But driving in a shared taxi through a village near the provincial capital of Diyala he saw a goat wearing boxer shorts and started laughing.” Can’t anyone have any fun anymore?



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