Daily Archives: August 25, 2017

Bidet-Phobia not Islamophobia in America

Shattaf-Phobia not Islamophobia in America


Ahmed Tharwat


We have so many phobias in this country; from a fear of olive pits and watermelon seeds, to a fear of foreigners and immigrants. Now it is the fear of Muslims, and Islamophobia. These phobias come and go based on the political climate and the country we are bombing.

However, the phobia that has been with us for years is the “Bidet-phobia” – Shattaf – in Arabic. When it comes to butt washing, Americans are very squeamish about it, and using a bidet or water-fountain in their bathroom was always problematic. Forty years ago, as a young Egyptian immigrant, who looked like Omar Al-Sharif for my American friends, but now with Islamophobia, and aging, the most polite comments I get are that I look like Mullah Omar (Taliban leader). I know I will survive the Islamophobia that is spreading like wild fire, and I know Americans will do too; there are enough Americans who know better and they aren’t falling into the trap of Trump, white Christian Americans first and white supremacy.

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