There are some ridiculous fatwas out there, but this latest one from Aleppo is the stupidest I’ve heard in a long time. It would almost be funny if it didn’t have such an air of ominous foreboding.
Here is the statement issued by the Fardous Neighbourhood Islamic Council on Tuesday.
The pertinent part reads thus:
“Muslim women are banned from leaving the house in immodest dress or tight clothing that reveals their bodies, and from wearing makeup on their face.”
Various claims are flying around – that the fatwa is a fake, issued to undermine the cause of the revolution, and so on.
But I can believe it because I have had direct experience. The first time I went to Aleppo I was wearing make up. A bit vain maybe, given that Aleppo is a war zone and not a nightclub, but I thought I’d make the effort. Big mistake. As soon I stepped foot in the base of the Brigade I’d come to report on (who shall remain nameless – but if you really want to know, read my articles) I was told that I was not to wear make up in their presence, ever, ever again. It was like being back at school.
Now make up is a minor thing I know, but it really pissed me off. Firstly it’s a matter of personal choice – what is it to them what I wear on my face? Secondly, they should have better things to be worrying about, like, for example, the civil war they’re fighting in. Thirdly, and most pertinently, I saw it as a bad sign of things to come. If today they’re telling women that they can’t be seen in public wearing make up, then tomorrow will they be telling them that they can’t be seen in public at all?
Also, my make up was really not that offensive. There is some make up that should be banned. Like this, for example:
I could see the logic behind a ban on that type of make up.
The fatwa included an assurance that the organisation “will not punish those in contempt.” So what are they going to do then? Make sure that they are carrying baby wipes at all times so that they can make the offending women take their make up off on the spot? I kind of hope so.
There is a positive journalistic spin to be put on this however, which is that those vacuous beauty writers who churn out guff about the ‘no make up make up’ look finally have an ever-so-attentive panel to test out their efforts on. Off you go to Syria ladies! If these guys notice that your dewy glow is not entirely what God gave you then you’ll be facing the rough end of Sharia justice. If not… well they’ll probably still hate you anyway. I know I do.