From The Gathering Storm Blog

It’s been a busy week for the followers of Islam and their Imams. How to deal with lesbians with four wives and pork in their Tostitos – now the Imams are challenged with the social phenomenon of modern Muslim women deceiving their Muslim husbands to be and being a good Muslim astronaut.

Sitting in a cafe near the Champs Elysees, the 26-year-old French-born woman of Algerian descent looks like any other Parisian. But two months ago, she did something none of her friends have done. She had her hymen re-sewn, technically making her a virgin again. “I’m glad I had it done,” said the woman, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. “I wanted to reconstruct part of my life, to reconstruct myself so that I could feel better about myself.”

And virginity doesn’t come cheap.

This 30-minute outpatient procedure, called “hymenoplasty” and costing between 1,500 and 3,000 euros ($2,000-$4,000), is increasingly popular among young women of North African descent in France.

“Many of my patients are caught between two worlds,” said Abecassis. They have had sex already but are expected to be virgins at marriage according to a custom that he called “cultural and traditional, with enormous family pressure”. Since then, Abecassis said, some Muslims in France have been putting much more emphasis on certain customs as a way of expressing their identity. “Today it’s the two ‘V’s’—veil and virginity,” he said. “It’s a social phenomenon.”

The next day she was back at work. “I don’t want to disappoint my fiance,” she said, adjusting her glasses and brushing her highlighted brown hair from her face. “I wouldn’t have had the surgery if I hadn’t met him.” A leading Muslim spokesman said Islam says bride and groom should be virgins before marriage, but did not take a clear stand for or against hymenoplasties.

Hmmm…Another modern day challenge to the Imams. Ever get the impression that fundamentalist Muslims are like a square peg in the round whole of modern day civilization? Islam needs to be reformed not just for religious reasons but to exist in the 21st century.

And speaking of the 21st century, what about MUSLIMS IN SPACE!!!

Muslim-majority Malaysia’s first astronaut will get guidelines allowing flexibility in praying in zero gravity and eating space meals under Islamic rules. The government-prepared advice is for a Malaysian joining a Russian scientific mission on the International Space Station in October, said Malaysia’s National Space Agency chief Mazlan Othman. Officials have previously said an Islamic code of conduct in space is necessary because few Muslims have embarked on such expeditions, and there have been no standardized guidelines for them.

Because, as you know, a Muslim praying in space poses some difficulties.

Malaysia held a forum for Islamic scholars in April 2006 to discuss problems Muslim space travellers might face, such as pinpointing the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Muslims are expected to face a structure called the Kaaba in Mecca when they offer their five daily prayers.

Some other guidelines in the booklet are:

  • If Muslim astronauts doubt whether a meal is halal, or prepared according to Islamic rules, they “should consume it only to the extent of restraining hunger,” the guidelines say.
  • The astronaut must be dressed decently whenever in public view, which involves covering at least the portion of the body between the navel and the knees for men.

Beam me up, Mohammad!

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