In his article in The Guardian, Wajahat Ali generalized that Muslim parents in America avoid talking about sex with their children which limits their chances of getting married and having a good sex life:
During a Muslim's youth and adolescence, many elders promote repression. However, when this individual becomes a single, unmarried adult in their late 20s or 30s, they are bludgeoned with repeated commands to "settle down". Muslim youths are expected to go from 0 to 60 mph with a spouse, 2.3 kids and a suburban home without being taught how to start the engine and how to maintain the vehicle on its journey.
Ali later explains to those unaware American Muslim parents that Islam actually promotes a healthy attitude towards sex:
Yet Islam, as practised by the prophet Muhammad, is refreshingly candid and human in its treatment of sexuality. The hadith literature – the scholarly collections documenting the sayings, behaviours and etiquette of the prophet – provides ample evidence of this. The early followers of Islam bluntly asked the prophet about sex and marriage in order to correctly practise their new religion. Many books have been written by renowned scholars citing the prophet's healthy attitude towards sexuality, which encouraged foreplay, playfulness and compassion between consenting, married adults.
But this is between "married adults" what about sex, without "marriage"? Ali has the answer:
The prophetic conduct towards sex has been abandoned by several American Muslim communities, particularly those of immigrant descent, in favour of outright silence. Topics including an acknowledgement of realities such as pregnancies before marriage or adultery are rarely mentioned in many Muslim circles; the fear being that acknowledgement would act as an endorsement, validation and inspiration for unislamic sexual deviances.
To conclude, Ali writes the following supposedly witty and insightful paragraph:
Instead of repressing the elephant, perhaps it's time to acknowledge the elephant's existence, respectfully offer to buy it a non-alcoholic beverage, and compliment it on the size of its tusks all the while still adhering to one's religious values. There is hope that the birds and bees talk of today will evolve from "Don't do it!" to "Do it!" – in a manner that is respectful, comfortable and natural to the sensibilities of Muslim individuals and communities.
There are many problems in Ali's article and it reflects the dilemma facing some moderate Muslims when they try to reconcile their beliefs with their contemporary world.
Ali, deliberately or not, mixes the "sex" discussion with the "marriage" discussion and in the end it is not clear whether his article is about "sex education" or "religion reform".
Indeed Islam discussed the "how to" of sex but it also discussed the consequences of adultery and pregnancy before marriage. Ali conveniently avoids this distinction. As for sex education, Ali complains about stereotyping of Muslims yet he presents Muslims youth in America as submissive, isolated and sitting home waiting for their parents to explain to them the story of "birds and bees". Is he complaining about the sex education in the American school system? or the role of the mosque in providing sex education? or the role of parents? All are mixed-up in his article.
Above is an example of the dogmatic, disgraceful and ignorant "sex" discussion by some religious men in the Muslim world. The video clip, with English translation, shows the serious problems facing the sex discussion in Egypt and the Muslim world in general.