Emirati marriage counselor, author and ultra-conservative Muslim Widad Lootah has urged Muslim and Arab women to embrace love and love-making on the eve of Valentine's Day, it has been reported.
According to the AFP, Lootah, who considers herself religious and sports a full veil, often uses Koran quotes to support her advice to have sex, in an attempt to clear the popular myths and misconceptions about Islam.
Don't shy away from it, don't feel ashamed by it. Enjoy it, you're supposed to, she told an interview with the AFP.
Lootah, who worked for 11 years as a marriage counselor at the Dubai courthouse, said that lack of sex is the main source of marital disharmony in the United Arab Emirates.
Though she maintains that anal sex is strictly forbidden in Islam, everything else, including all sexually intimate acts below the belly button, is allowed. Feel each other, touch each other, kiss each other all over... it's OK.
Lootah, known as Mama Widad among her clients, was caught in the midst of a controversy in the conservative Islamic world in 2009 for publishing an Arabic sex guide Top Secret: Sexual Guidance for Married Couples
The book packed with anecdotes from her years of experience as a marriage counselor discussed taboo topics including oral sex, female orgasm and homosexuality. The book drew praise from liberal Muslims and death threats from religious conservatives.
They called me all sorts of things: crazy, vile, immoral, criminal. Some even called me a traitor and spy for Israel and America, Lootah said.
She has also lobbied the UAE government to introduce sex education in schools as she believes people lack scientific knowledge on matters relating to sex and opposite gender, mainly due to the extreme segregation of sexes.
Many men who had anal sex with men before marriage want the same thing with their wives, because they don't know anything else, Lootah had earlier said in an interview with the New York Times. This is one reason we need sex education in our schools, she said.
Lootah isn't exactly a liberal when assessed using Western standards due to her philosophy that deems anal sex and homosexuality dangerous. However, her frankness and courage to talk about sex in the Islamic world, risking deportation or even death, are commendable.