Dr. Mobin Akhtar, eighty-one, is a Pakistani man on a mission. He has written a book entitled Sex Education for Muslims (or, in Urdu, Special Problems for Young People) which aims to teach people about sex in a way that's consistent with Islamic instruction. Akhtar, who is a psychiatrist, says that the virtual silence that surrounds any talk of sex in Pakistan is doing serious damage to the psyches of young people. He says:

"Adolescents, especially boys, when they get to puberty, and the changes that come with puberty, they think it's due to some disease. They start masturbating, and they are told that is very dangerous to health, and that this is sinful, very sinful." 

Dr. Akhtar says he has seen cases where confused teens have become depressed and even taken their own lives. Many teachers and parents are embarrassed about the topic, and there is no sex education teaching in government schools. Through his studies, Dr. Akhtar came to realize that the Prophet Muhammad had actually discussed sex in great detail. One quote from the Koran that's featured in his book reads:

"You are allowed intercourse at night with your wives during the month of fasting. They are as intimate for you as your own clothes, and vice versa." 

But many Pakistanis have resisted having their eyes opened to the twenty-first century. Dr. Akhtar has been threatened and called a quack, and very few bookshops will even stock his book. Kudos to the good doc for fighting this uphill battle — interpretations aside, we should all be able to agree that when kids are killing themselves over masturbation, something's wrong. 

Commentarium (5 Comments)

Jan 10 11 - 3:40pm

Oh come on. It all comes out in the wash.

Jan 11 11 - 12:43am

Muslims have been having sex for more than 1300 years, and someone only just now finally got around to writing a book about it for them? Maybe that's why Muslims are so mad at the world: they're not having any fun in bed.

Jan 11 11 - 4:35am

It didn't actually occur to you that a Muslim might read your comment, did it, Baffled?

Jan 11 11 - 5:58am

Condescending. Blah.

Jan 12 11 - 12:50am
Your mom

At Baffled, sex ed books aren't generally directed at specific religions...which is part of what makes this interesting. Someone should write one for Mormons now too. I hope this good doctor doesn't get a fatwa put on him for doing what's right.