saudi burqa


The Saudi cleric on the right, Sheikh Abdullah Daoud,  has argued about the need to put Burqas on children to protect them from being sexually assaulted.

Yes this Saudi cleric talking about putting Burqas on children is idiotic, patriarchal.  Yes, he is a moron for not understanding that the issue is not with newborns not having their faces uncovered, but with perverted men who choose not to control themselves and inflict violence sexually on an unwilling child who obviously cannot and would not consent to a sexual act.

Yes, his understanding of children and sexuality—and indeed of adults—represents a a mockery of sense and reason.  To see a child as a sexual target, no matter how dressed up in religious language, is nothing short of perversion.   Yes, we should speak out against it with all of our heart and soul and intellect.


In expressing our dismay, I hope that we remember the sexism of our own society here in the US, as evidenced in almost every single Super Bowl ad last night that used a reduced women to sex objects in order to sell everything from cars to deodorants to beer to website hosting products.

I hope that we can rise to the point of seeing the connectness of all of our dignities, and resist the tide of dehumanizing any of us, male or female, anywhere on this planet.   Women are not objects to push sales of commodities, nor are they commodities.   That message is as true on this side of the ocean as on the other side.
kate uptown
It’s perhaps a sign of our age that a serious critique of this tendency comes from the Satire magazine, “The Onion”:  “Teenage Girl Blossoming Into Beautiful Object.”


Calling the transformation both delightful and stunning, friends and family members confirmed Tuesday that 17-year-old Ashley Parker was blossoming into an absolutely gorgeous object.

According to Parker’s relatives, in the span of 14 months, the high school junior underwent a staggering metamorphosis from a young girl with thoughts, feelings, and aspirations into a truly stunning commodity.


Categories: Beliefs

Beliefs: ,

Tags: , , , , , ,

Omid Safi

Omid Safi

Omid Safi is a Professor of Islamic Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in contemporary Islamic thought and classical Islam. He leads educational tours to Turkey every summer, through Illuminated Tours:


  1. Only another Moslem can remotely compare these to events
    The reality is these behavior are part of your cloture and tacitly approved or understood, I lived in Iran as a child so I witnessed a sick societal understanding for wife beater child molesters no unlike the Catholic Church you in Iran and Islamic world have perverted all the positive things Mohamed had said and only concentrate on the hatefull versus
    You are in your version of the dark ages and it will be centuries and millions more suffering before you reach you renesaunce. Good luck

  2. We are blind to our own cultural biases and illnesses; I think that Safi’s point is absolutely right. We are happily critical to others, and ignorant of the defects determining our own identities. (This does not mean that others don’t have defects.) The world would be a more beautiful place if we gave up arrogance and adopted the path of self-blaming (malamah).

  1. […] In Super Bowl Ads and Saudi Sexism, Omid Safi uncovers some silly reasoning in Saudi culture, and some comparably silly standards that apply to almost every ad from the Super Bowl.  The virtue really does lie in the center.  I think this quote is particularly apt: “Women are not objects to push sales of commodities, nor are they commodities.” At the end of this article, do click through to The Onion story: “Teenage Girl Blossoming Into Beautiful Object.” […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.