Phallic sweets in Egypt might seem like a story of the latest tomb excavation in the Valley of the Kings. However, this story involves the current State Islamic Advisory Body. That august institution recently announced that sharing photos of sweets with sexual themes is forbidden by Islam. I must admit I was surprised to find out that the Koran mentions photographs and sweets. When was it written? The Islamic police also forgot to mention where, exactly, in the Koran that particular prohibition is featured.

     Its gets funnier, although not for the consumers of phallic sweets.

     A group of ladies were celebrating a birthday party in an exclusive club in Cairo. They apparently decided to spice things up a bit, and gave special instructions to the designated baker. She, the baker, was to make exotic cupcakes for the occasion.

     The photographs taken at the event show one lady with her lips perilously close to the suggestively-extended top of one cupcake.

     Thanks to social media, those photographs immediately went viral, with predictable reactions from the male-dominated institutions of religious doctrine.

     The Sports Ministry, which oversees the Club, officially condemned the women involved. The baker was arrested and faces up to two years in jail. The Ministry promised to prosecute everyone involved, and created a special committee to investigate the party. That committee has been charged with issuing recommendations to the public prosecutor, and a Member of Parliament has called for the Minister to testify before them.

     When the country is struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, one has to wonder at the sanity of spending the time of innumerable officials on such a specious topic.

     In a country that has mandated a twenty-five percent participation of women in the legislature, and the same in the Cabinet, this is dismaying. However, last year, the growing #MeToo movement was crushed after activists accused some men from prominent families of sexual violence. Egypt, obviously, has far to go in the quest for equal treatment of women.

     In a concluding paragraph of the article that reported this story, the author succinctly summed up the incident. He said, “Mr. Sisi (the President of the Country) presents himself as a moderate alternative to the stern Islamists he toppled in a coup in 2013. But Egypt remains deeply conservative. If the President really wants to set a different tone, perhaps he should let his people eat cake – even if it has a sugary penis on top.”

     Maybe, “Phallic Sweets in Egypt” should be the new local slogan of the #MeToo movement?

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