An Islamic philosopher in Turkey has sparked outrage after insulting pregnant women, saying they should not go about "swinging" their "bellies" in public.
“Announcing pregnancy with a flourish of trumpets is against our civility," Omer Tugrul Inancer said on state television, according to Hurriyet Daily News. "[They] should not wander on the streets with such bellies."
He said if the women want fresh air at "seven or eight months," they can go out with their husbands "by car" in "the evening hours."
Inancer justified his argument by saying, "first of all, it is not aesthetic" to see the women. But for them to proudly be flaunting their pregnancies, even going on television in their condition, he said is "disgraceful" and immoral.
In addition to a strong negative reaction on social media, lawmakers and public figures also weighed in almost immediately.
“They should stop taking on women in this country. They would intervene in the air that women breathe [if they could],” Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aylin Nazlhaka remarked.
The Grand Mufti also hastened to reassure the public that they're not going to begin segregating women.
"Religion does not call for the isolation of women, pregnant or otherwise. Becoming a mother is a gift from God," he remarked. "However, pregnant women should dress carefully, as all women should, and not wear garments that reveal the belly or the lower back."
Turkey, while more stable than some of its neighbors, has seen its share of violent protests in recent months.
The Islamist's comments on state television have prompted a cry for a renewed round of protests, and this time people say they plan to stuff pillows beneath their shirts in support of pregnant women.
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