An Islamic cleric living in Europe reportedly has warned Muslim women not to get too close to bananas, cucumbers or other produce -- to avoid having "sexual thoughts. The unnamed cleric, whose directive was featured in an article in el-Senousa, a religious publication, purportedly said that if women wanted to eat these foods, a third party -- preferably a male related to them, such as their father or husband -- should cut the items into small pieces before serving, the Egyptian website Bikya Masr reported.
Carrots and zucchini also were added to the alleged cleric's list of forbidden foods for women.
News of the statement quickly spread online, leaving many liberal Muslims embarrassed and angry, evoking a flurry of mockery in online forums.
"Many of the commentators are Muslims themselves, who have expressed their anger against the cleric for making Islamic religious practices appear unreasonable," The International Business Times reported.