'Ayb, the word for shame in Arabic, which is closely linked to what is deemed morally wrong by society, is commonly used in everyday conversation in the Arab world. When children are told that their behavior is ayb, they learn early on that that behavior is censored by the outside world, which is not forgiving of moral violations. The anxieties around violating social norms are often less attributable to the behavior being haram¯ (a sin or religiously forbidden) as to the fear that it will lead to kalam al-nas¯ (what people will say) and therefore public reckoning. Certainly in my mind as a child, I was far more afraid of ayb’s immediate consequences of kalam al-nas¯ than of God’s wrath upon me. Asifa Siraj, in her study of Muslim gay men, finds that many men were not concerned with committing a religious sin, despite their identification with Islam; what prohibited them from coming out to their families was that they felt their parents would be concerned with what people would say and in particular what the extended family would think.