Monday, March 05, 2007

Good Fatwa

I wanted to make sure I mentioned this before the day is out--The Grand Mufti of Egypt has released a Fatwa that strikes a crucial blow for women's rights in the region:
Reconstructive hymen surgery for women who lost their virginity before marriage is halal (religiously permissible), said to Aly Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt.
Shiekh Khaled El Gindy, an Al-Azhar scholar and member of the Higher Council of Islamic Studies told The Daily Star Egypt that he agrees with the new fatwa.

"Islam never differentiates between men and women, so it is not rational for us to think that God has placed a sign to indicate the virginity of women without having a similar sign to indicate the virginity of men," El Gindy said.

"Any man who is concerned about his prospective wife’s hymen should first provide a proof that he himself is virgin," he added.
Even more shocking to many observers, Gomaa said that if a married woman had sexual intercourse with another man but truly regretted her actions and asked God for forgiveness, she should not tell her husband.

"According to Sharia, if a husband knew that his wife had sexual intercourse with anyone else, he should divorce her, so by not telling him she would be protecting her home and her life," he explained.

The fatwa has led to much controversy within Al-Azhar and Egyptian society as a whole.

In Upper Egypt honor crimes are still committed. If a woman loses her virginity out of wedlock, she is considered a big shame on everyone and deserves to die.

In response to such ideas, El Gindy told The Daily Star Egypt that, "Islam does not care for the feelings of ignorant people, just as the law does not protect the idiots."

H/T to Werewolf Neil, who remarks:
While we in the West have progressed far enough that it makes sense to just make fun of anybody who cares enough about hymens enough to think hymen replacement surgery is a good idea, it's probably a good thing to make available in a society where the murder of women who have premarital sex is a real possibility.


I should add I original saw this from the massive roundup at Feministing, which is a great site generally and had a particularly interesting set of links in that post.

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