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The Middle East has long been something of a mystery to Westerners, and in particular, the sexual mores of the region continue to fascinate. Arabs are often described as being in a state of Islam-induced sexual anxiety and young Muslims' frustrations are said to be exacerbated by increasing exposure to the licentiousness of the West. Here, Middle East expert John R. Bradley sets out to uncover the truth about sex in countries like Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Yemen. Among many startling revelations, Bradley reports ...
The Middle East has long been something of a mystery to Westerners, and in particular, the sexual mores of the region continue to fascinate. Arabs are often described as being in a state of Islam-induced sexual anxiety and young Muslims' frustrations are said to be exacerbated by increasing exposure to the licentiousness of the West. Here, Middle East expert John R. Bradley sets out to uncover the truth about sex in countries like Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Yemen. Among many startling revelations, Bradley reports on how "temporary" Islamic marriages allow for illicit sex in the theocracies of Iran and Saudi Arabia; "child brides" that are sold off to older Arab men according to ancient tribal traditions; the hypocrisy that undermines publicized crackdowns on the thriving sex industry in the Persian Gulf; and how, despite widespread denial, homosexuality is still deeply ingrained in the region's social fabric.
Richly detailed and nuanced, Behind the Veil of Vice sheds light on a taboo subject and unravels widely held myths about the region. In the process, Bradley also delivers an important message about our own society's contradictions.
"Drawing on extensive research as well as the author's own substantial firsthand knowledge of the region, the book offers an essential corrective to the fantasies and misinformation about Middle Eastern cultures." —Publishers Weekly
Bradley… crushes the popular perception of the Middle East as erotically stifled…. This fascinating and comprehensive book guides readers through the seedy underbelly of the Middle East.— Salon.com
Bradley finds both sleazy secrets and what he… calls higher hypocrisies in this revelatory and thought-provoking book.—The Scotsman (U.K.)
After ten years writing and traveling through the Middle East, John R. Bradley decided to tackle the subject that everyone talks about without saying much... [He] reveals the many different ways countries across the region talk about and regulate sex.—Zócalo Public Square
Praise for Inside Egypt:
“Essential reading for anyone interested in modern Egypt and the looming dramas of the Arab world.”—United Press International
“In this highly readable and thoughtful volume, Bradley provides a devastating critique of Egypt’s current dictatorial government.”—Library Journal
“Compelling… Inside Egypt depicts a hopelessly dysfunctional country where poverty, torture, and corruption are ubiquitous.”—New Statesman (UK)
“John R. Bradley is a writer looking for the truth in Arab countries ruled by dictators. His writing is brave and essential to our understanding of the reality behind the official, artificial image of our societies.”—Alaa Al Aswany, Egyptian author of the international bestselling novels The Yacoubian Building and Chicago
Praise for Saudi Arabia Exposed:
“A highly informed, temperate, and understanding account of a country… that is an enigma.”—The New York Times
“Brings to life the tensions between rulers and ruled, offering poignant evidence of widespread disillusionment with the Saudi royal family.”—Foreign Affairs
“A thoughtful, incisive portrait of a fractured nation. . . [a] remarkable volume.”—Newsweek
“[Bradley] uses a graceful journalist’s pen to write with scholarly authority... shows a sensitivity rare for a Westerner, reaching directly to the society’s core.”—The Nation
one Dissent in Damascus 15
two Islamic Feminism 45
three Temporary Marriages 79
four Child Brides 113
five Pleasure Island 149
six Moral Panic 189
seven Veils and Vices 217
Posted September 27, 2010
No text was provided for this review.