In Norway, it seems, a football match was organised to build friendship between Christian and Muslim clergy. But it was called off -- because the Christian team included women players and the Muslim imams "refused to play against women because it went against their beliefs about close physical contact with the opposite sex."
The article concludes with the meaningful quote from the Christian side: "Both sides have learned to better understand our cultures and we have had an open discussion."
I'm sure the obvious conclusions will be drawn by readers -- Muslims are backward creatures whose culture doesn't belong in Europe. But, given that women priests were unheard-of in Christianity until recently and are still uncommon, and that mixed-gender football teams are extremely uncommon, I can't help wondering if some mischief was afoot.
The other story this week about Islamic intimacy was of the uproar caused by the conservative, Ayatollah-appointed Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when he kissed and embraced his elderly former schoolteacher. The kiss was on a gloved hand, and the old lady was more than modestly clad, but conservative media in the country were appalled.
Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher, and a lifelong rightwinger) observed recently that Iran is historically more an Indo-European than an Islamic culture, and the present regime is not at all representative of what the people want (and it would be ridiculous to go to war with that country). If even a nutter like Ahmadinejad can fall foul of the ayatollahs, I suppose that illustrates his point.