The Internet has been blazing and people are appalled, but apparently the Islamic cleric living in Europe was quite serious. The Islamic cleric said women should not touch or handle or be close to cucumbers or bananas to avoid any sexual thoughts.

Claiming that the fruits and vegetables resemble the male penis, the Islamic cleric said bananas, cucumbers and more, including carrots and zucchini could make women think of sex and they should be handled by a third party if they are to eat them to avoid arousal.

The story was reported on the Egyptian news site Bikya Masr, and the Times of India ran the a story in response titled, Islamic cleric bans women from touching bananas which got it all started. The cleric, unnamed, was quoted in the story in Bikya Masr as saying women should not get close to bananas or cucumbers.

If women wish to eat these food items, a third party, preferably a male related to them such as their a father or husband, should cut the items into small pieces and serve, the cleric reportedly said.

The Times of India reported, The news about this latest diktat against women went viral on the web with liberal Muslims feeling enraged and embarrassed. Repression of women in ultra-conservative Islamic societies has been an intense subject of debate throughout the world.

Since the cleric was unnamed, it's not clear whether the fatwa, or religious ruling, is legitimate or not. But one blogger suggests it may not be. Adrian Mack, writing for, writes about the cleric's inflammatory ruling: That's some pretty good flame-bait, but is it legit? According to the article in, the story originally appeared on something called el-Senousa news, but good luck finding it. In fact, a Google search for el-Senousa news only points back-many times over-to the article in