A COUPLE of weeks ago an Islamic scholar, Hussain Salafi from Kerala in India, issued a stark warning to women: stay away from shopping malls because (a) Allah doesn’t like them and (b) they attract people who are “children of the Devil.”
That was pretty mild in comparison to a sermon delivered earlier by Maulana Swalih Bathery, above, a “famous” Kerala cleric who claimed that women who venture out after 9 pm are nothing but prostitutes and deserve to be killed.
I know what’s going through your mind, because I throught the same: “Jeez, just how old is this pint-sized purveyor of hatred?”
In fact Bathery is 27, and has a condition called Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) or the “Benjamin Button” disease. It’s amazing that he lived as long as has because sufferers of the disease usually don’t get past 20.
So he uses the additional time granted him by Allah to deliver sermons that advocate murder. Or as this report says:
Absurdity is not the only forte of the Islamic clerics in Kerala. Some of them indulge in blatant religious bigotry and misogyny to boot.
OpIndia reported that Bathery was speaking in defence of a convicted rapist and murderer when he branded out-at-night women “prostitutes”. A man named only Govindachamy, a one-handed beggar and thief raped and killed a woman named Soumya in 2011.
The cleric criticised the judgement and the judge who heard the Soumya case. According to Bathery, Govindachamy raped Soumya because she was traveling at night, and deserved to be killed because she was “a prostitute.”
Soumya, who worked at a mall in Ernakulam, was attacked and robbed when she was returning home by train by Govindachamy when she was set upon. On leaving the train she was hit on the head with a stone by her assailant and raped. She died five days later.
In 2016, the Supreme Court set aside Govindachamy’s death sentence and reduced it to only a seven-year prison sentence for rape. The investigation had failed to establish a water-tight case of murder against the accused.
Back to Hussain Salafi, above. In his rant he explained that shopping malls offend Allah because they attract visitors and shoppers from “different cultures who all wear different kinds of dresses. These are the children of Devil”. Malls also have beauty parlours, and Muslims who visit them are tarnishing the image of the whole community.
Another “evil effect” of malls, according to Salafi, is that men and women roam freely together. This causes females to “gaze” at men.
He threw in the “fact” that that Allah’s favourite places are gender-separated mosques.