Islamic bicycle

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Muslim women riding traditional bicycles as this one are seen as immodest

The proper Islamic bicycle for the Muslim women is a topic of heated discussion in both Sunni and Shia Islam. Concerns centre around modesty (not revealing the body) and mobility (social control).

Theologian and philosopher Alparslan Acikgenc addressed the issue in a conference in Istanbul, saying "a bicycle that is produced with God’s blessings in mind and man’s interests at its fore is an Islamic bicycle". Secular academics worry that Turkey’s Islamist government is putting Islam ahead of science. Turkish journalist Mustafa Akyol argues that the very idea of an Islamic bicycle is indicative of a "mentality that has stagnated Muslim thought".[1] Saudi Arabia bans the use of bicycles by women except in restricted recreational areas.[2] The Iranian version of the bicycle has a “boxy contraption that hides a woman’s lower body.”[3] In Iran it is forbidden for women to ride traditional bicycles out of concerns for modesty.[4] Women riders are attacked by vigilantes.

Critics condemn both the bicycle ban and the Islamic bicycle as tools of oppression.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Peddling religion: Why secular academics fret about an "Islamic bicycle"". The Economist. Sep 15, 2012.
  2. ^ Kristene Quan (April 3, 2013). "Saudi Women Can Now Ride Bicycles in Public (Kind of)". Time Magazine.
  3. ^ Michael Slackman (Sep 9, 2007). "Molding the Ideal Islamic Citizen". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Theodoulou, Michael (24 October 2010). "Women cyclists face jail, warns Iranian police chief". The National (Abu Dhabi). Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  5. ^ Farzaneh Milani (Jun 28, 2007). "'Islamic bicycle' can't slow Iranian women". USA Today.
  6. ^ Sophie Lloyd (October 25, 2016). "A Woman's Right to Bike". Ms. Magazine.