Today's Hot Topic in Syrian Blogosphere: Masturbation

Regime doesn't seem to mind as long as it doesn't challenge authority
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2009 1:31 PM CDT
Masturbation is epidemic among Syrians, some bloggers say.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Syria’s authoritarian regime has been quick to lock up bloggers who tweak it even slightly, but it seems to have turned the other cheek as a flame war over masturbation has erupted. One blogger’s call for a crackdown on the evidently widespread “secret habit” elicited a push for an “unprecedented Syrian Orgasm against absurdity, hypocrisy, and sanctimony,” while a third Web critic wants an entire week devoted to moral decay.

“Whenever you have a high degree of authoritarianism, the things that are tolerated will rise to the surface quite forcefully,” one unsurprised Syria expert tells Newsweek. Indeed, adds the blogger whose anti-morality festivities would include pornography, drug use, and eating during Ramadan, “you’re only in danger when discussing sensitive political issues. The presidency, for example.”