Women shouldn’t laugh in public
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan

Jamie Glazov in his book United in Hate wrote:

laughter is discouraged - and is actually forbidden for women, and especially young girls.  Nawal El Saadaw remembers that, growing up in Egypt, "If I laughed, I was expected to keep my voice so low that people could hardly hear me, or better, confine myself to smiling timidly.  When Souad, the Palestinian survivor of an attempted honor killing, was flown to Switzerland, she was shocked to find females dressing as they wished, smiling and laughing without being punished and having people actually say "Thank you" to her - which had not happened once her entire life.

    Jamie Glazov wrote how the late American Journalist Steven Vincent in his Iraq memoir noted that at one point he was sitting by the swimming pool at the Al Hamra hotel in Baghdad where Western journalists stay.  He heard two American women laughing and a "chill" shot right through him.  Their laughter made him realize that he had not heard a woman laugh in Iraq, "not in a free and unguarded manner, at any rate."

     Jamie Glazov wrote an article in Frontpage Magazine titled Islam's Hatred of a Woman's Laugh.  He wrote:

Over the weekend, Hamas policemen in Gaza attempted to arrest a Palestinian female journalist, Asma al-Ghul. Her crime? She came to a Gaza beach dressed “immodestly” (not wearing hijab) and was caught laughing in front of others. The police ended up confiscating her passport and she has been living in fear inside her home ever since. The death threats she has been receiving from anonymous callers hasn’t helped much either.

The following is from the article in the Palestinian daily, Al-Ayyam (PMW bulletin Sept 10, 2009):

Member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front, Kayed Al-Ghoul:
"Hamas in Gaza today maintains a type of tyranny... and seeks, through undemocratic means of coercion and despotism, to enact laws that enforce their ideology and their party's world-view on the entire Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip...
Hamas enforces [wearing of] the headscarf and long gown (hijab and jalabiya) on female lawyers and students; it acts to separate the sexes in government departments by imposing a separation between the sexes in offices and waiting rooms, and it has prohibited mixed folk dancing. Most dangerous, it has established Morality Units, run jointly by the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which ask couples who walk on the beach to present a marriage contract, and ask any woman walking alone on the beach to have an escort [male relative], and prohibit laughing and talking for women [in public], and have issued a religious ruling (fatwa) prohibiting men from swimming in shorts, with the rest of their bodies naked."
[Al-Ayyam, Sept. 3, 2009]
To see PMW bulletins on Hamas's goal to establish Islamic laws, see:


Why is laughter such a threat.  Jamie Glazov tells of an interview he had with the late journalist Steven Vincent who explained:

I have this fantasy that fills me with particular joy. I think of some cranky bearded cleric—say, Moqtada al-Sadr—spouting the usual anti-American, anti-Semitic bilge when suddenly the women in his mosque—laugh. Imagine that moment! All that Islamofascist hatred and resentment and grandiosity washed away in a torrent of feminine amusement and ridicule. How could the cleric’s hold over the imaginations, spirits and desires of his flock withstand the charisma of feminine laughter? Add in the even more volatile force of sexual freedom and you would reduce 90 percent of Islam’s ulema [legal scholars] to pathetic old men in back-street mosques, preaching their misogynistic claptrap to ever-dwindling congregations. And no better fate could befall them.

  Samina a woman who had been forced to marry at the age of 5 in England had another explanation.  She said:

“It had got to the point where I wasn’t allowed to smile because smiling was said to be the sign of a loose woman, a woman who was flirting.”                                      

In May 2014 Police in Iran arrested six young people and shown them on state television for posting a video online of them dancing to Pharrell Williams' hit song "Happy." In a TV broadcast, Tehran Police Chief Hossein Sajedinia warned Iranian young people that police will confront those who challenge Islamic and social norms.

"The youth should try not to be deceived by these people under pretexts such as acting or singing," he said.

    In July 2014 Bülent Arınç  the deputy prime minister of Turkey said that women should not laugh in public.  He said:

“She will not laugh in public. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chasteness.

He called for Turkish people to rediscover the Koran and stop moral regression.  Targeting women once more, Arınç said women talk about unnecessary things on the phone.

“Women give each other meal recipes while speaking on the mobile phone. ‘What else is going on?’ ‘What happened to Ayşe’s daughter?’ ‘When is the wedding?’


Table of Contents