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Egypt ‘necrophilia law’? Hooey, utter hooey.

The new myth is that Islam somehow promotes…*drum roll*…necrophilia!

While you can likely find a fatwa for everything, when the recent story claiming that the “Egyptian parliament was considering passing a law that would allow husbands to have sex with their wives after death” went viral, the BS meter shot up pretty high for us.

But not for many mainstream media outlets who ran with the story without fact checking, thereby reinforcing Islamophobic myths and anti-Islam talking points.

Despite the ardent desire on behalf of Islamophobes such as Robert Spencer (he saw it as evidence of Sharia’ takeover) for the story to be true it was revealed pretty quickly that it was a hoax.

Spencer still has not updated the story to point out that it was a hoax. Now a lot of the haters have egg on their faces, this is not the first or the last time that such lies will be promoted in the media.(h/t:ZH)

Egypt ‘necrophilia law’? Hooey, utter hooey.

(Christian Science Monitor)

Today, Egypt‘s state-owned Al Ahram newspaper published an opinion piece by Amr Abdul Samea, a past stalwart supporter of the deposed Hosni Mubarak, that contained a bombshell: Egypt’s parliament is considering passing a law that would allow husbands to have sex with their wives after death.

It was soon mentioned in an English language version of Al-Arabiya and immediately started zipping around social-networking sites. By this afternoon it had set news sites and the rest of the Internet on fire. It has every thing: The yuck factor, “those creepy Muslims” factor, the lulz factor for those with a sick sense of humor. The non-fact-checked Daily Mail picked it up and reported it as fact. Then Andrew Sullivan, who has a highly influential blog but is frequently lax about fact-checking, gave it a boost with an uncritical take. TheHuffington Post went there, too.

There’s of course one problem: The chances of any such piece of legislation being considered by the Egyptian parliament for a vote is zero. And the chance of it ever passing is less than that. In fact, color me highly skeptical that anyone is even trying to advance a piece of legislation like this through Egypt’s parliament. I’m willing to be proven wrong. It’s possible that there’s one or two lawmakers completely out of step with the rest of parliament. Maybe.

SEE ALSO – IN PICTURES: Behind the veil

But extreme, not to mention inflammatory claims, need at minimum some evidence (and I’ve read my share of utter nonsense in Al Ahram over the years). The evidence right now? Zero.

There was a Moroccan cleric a few years back who apparently did issue a religious ruling saying that husbands remained married to their wives in the first six hours after death and, so, well, you know. But that guy is far, far out on the nutty fringe. How fringe? He also ruled that pregnant women can drink alcohol. Remember, alcohol is considered haram, forbidden, by the vast majority of the world’s Muslim scholars. Putting an unborn child at risk to get drunk? No, that’s just not what they do. Whatever the mainstream’s unpalatable beliefs (there are plenty from my perspective) this isn’t one of them.

It’s important to remember that the structure of the Muslim clergy is, by and large, like that of a number of Protestant Christian sects. Anyone can put out a shingle and declare themselves a preacher. The ones to pay attention to are the ones with large followings, or attachment to major institutions of Islamic learning. The preacher in Morocco is like the preacher in Florida who spent so much time and energy publicizing the burning of Qurans.

Stories like this are a reminder of the downside of the Internet. It makes fact-checking and monitoring easier. But the proliferation of aggregation sites, newsy blog sites, and the general erosion of editorial standards (and on-the-ground reporters to do the heavy lifting) also spreads silliness faster than it ever could before.

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  • khushboo

    and I thought Muslims bury their loved ones within 3 days. Maybe they’re getting confused with Muslim vampires who go underground and commit necrophilia. an honest mistake!

    AJ, be careful! They might use you as their source next. :/

  • Pingback: Egypt 'necrophilia law'? Hooey, utter hooey. | Islamophobia Today eNewspaper()

  • Great work on catching on to this guys- i too wrote a piece on this fabrication:

    All bloggers need to unite and write up on this disgrace because thus far it is being taken as gospel by most outlets and the general public still are not aware this is unsubstantiated news!


  • VRM

    So, is the Egyptian considering any such law or not?
    Have you got any full proof info?
    Hope you are right.

  • AJ

    Part 2.

    The Muslim husband continues to have sex with his goat until he finds another wife.

  • AJ

    The news outlets don’t have the right story. The Muslim husband doesn’t just have sex with his dead wife. He beats her first when she is alive, forces the burqa on her, beats her up some more when she refuses to have sex with him – since her genitalia is mutilated, honor kills her and then has sex with her dead body.

    Please feel free to add anything that I missed.

  • Young One

    Stories like this might be ridiculous, but they were sold as an “Islamist ideology” to European countries such as in Poland where the main media ran with such a story early in the morning. They only added a warning of a “Rumour” on top of the web articles, but all those published by newspapers still have no retractions of such false reporting.

    For all the money Saudis invest with western media groups, they still allow such wanton stigma to be attached to Muslim communities.

  • truth

    @ crittical
    It happens in eastern part of my country. though its a form of ritual among some tribe.if a husband or a wife dies the partner will have to sleep with/beside the corpse for seven days so as to be sure that he/she(wife or husband) is not responsible for the death of his/her spouse. Likewise if the couple are yet to be married and it is known that sexual relationshp exist between the couple and if one of them dies(eg the lady) the other partner(the guy) will marry the corpse and pay bride price as if the lady is still alive.

  • fox news

    Yuval Diskin accuses Israel’s leaders of misleading the public on Iran, says they are making decisions ‘based on messianic feelings.’

  • Abdul-Rahman

    Refutation of this fake story the Islamophobic propagandists have picked up on

  • khushboo

    never believed it for a second. I knew it would be a hoax!

  • Sir David : Man on a phone with a french spell check

    I am shocked by this , very shocked
    Not the story, its obviously bollocks ,but that the Daily Mail got it right 🙂

  • Abdul-Rahman

    Also of course Islamic Shari’ah law requires the body of a deceased Muslim to be washed and prepared for burial pretty much immediately (i.e. as soon as possible after the person passes away). And the deceased Muslim is to have their funeral prayer and be buried according to the Islamic custom within a day or two from what I’ve red (i.e. as soon as possible the better).

  • Abdul-Rahman

    This is clearly a hoax, I’d guess the old Hosni Mubarak ally is trying to sully the image of the new Egyptian parliament dominated by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi Nour party (i.e. people that are speaking against the current ruling US backed SCAF junta with all the old Mubarak military figures still in place). Sadly it is certainly some red meat propaganda for the Islamophobes to uncritically latch on to as usual as well.

  • Reynardine

    You will always find someone attention-crazed enough, nuts enough, or both, to say almost anything. I first saw this one in Al Arabiya. The Christian Science Monitor picked it up from there. Admittedly, he said a wife had a reciprocal right in her husband’s corpse, which elicited some heavy humor about rigor mortis. I don’t seriously think anyone’s going to pass that law. Lowering the age of marriage to fourteen is considerably more serious. When I was growing up, many states allowed the marriage of fourteen year olds, though Florida only when the bride was pregnant; such marriages seldom lasted long, and usually left in their wake derailed lives and children who were born too soon. A girl under eighteen, I’d point out, is at special risk for miscarriage and complications; that risk gets exponentially worse for every year under sixteen. Human beings unfortunately develop sex urges years before it is safe for them to use them; more education, not juvenile marriages or early promiscuity is the only way to handle that. The problem is not unique to one country, but if Egypt is contemplating lowering the marriage age, it’s on the wrong track.

  • Just Stopping By

    I don’t think the Christian Science Monitor rebuttal is that strong becaue it doesn’t provide any source to discredit the claim of such a bill being in the Egyptian parliamanet. Fortunately, the Daily Mail (yes, the Daily Mail) does:

    “Sources inside the Egyptian Embassy in London have said the claims were ‘completely false’, ‘forbidden in Islam’ and ‘could never imagine it happening’. The source said the proposal, if it even existed, had not reached the parliament – although it was also admitted it could be the work of an extremist politician.”

  • mindy1

    You wrote,
    Good lord, I don’t think that’s allowed in ANY culture D:

    I have a feeling you’re correct.

  • @Emperor

    I knew this story was a bunch of utter nonsense, once I heard about, yet not surprising Spencer the “Jihad Watcher” the “expert on Islam” has not updated the story, telling his readers it was a mistake. I guess as far as Spencer is concerned, if its bad for Islam its good, either that or just too lazy to fact check, and no one brought up his mistake, but either way this is just one more reason to never trust Jihad Watch, or Spencer!

  • Arab Aetheist

    Commenting from my phone so excuse my poor writing

  • Arab Aetheist

    In most Arab countries, you need to have a postgraduate degree to be a state or district Mufti. Still, there no regulations on whether normal people can issue fat was. You can grow a beard, throw a nasty fatwa, and become famous just like that. Also, fatwa is opinion & interpretation that is completely subjective and based on Ijtihad (subjective jurisdiction). You can ignore the Islamic scriptures completely and still issue a fatwa based on the principle of IsteHsan (personal assessment in the absence of evidence). Such fatwas are not usually trusted by people. Every Muslim I know would laugh at such ridiculous Muftis. Sometimes ex-convict newly self appointed imams with tatoos issue fatwas. I met a bunch of those while young.

    Point is: fatwa is not Islam. It is an opinion about islam.

    Point is: fatwa does

  • TimothyH

    How did the Christian Science Monitor have access to information that hasn’t been reported at any mainstream Arab news outlet?

  • Layzee

    ^The burden of proof is always on the accuser silly.

  • relief

    An article that says that something is merely an unsupported allegation, as this one does, and offers as proof its own unsupported allegation that the original allegation is untrue, as this one does, proves absolutely nothing. Where is the proof this legislation was not introduced or considered? This author offers no fact checking either.

  • But you have a problem when a particular religion even considers such an evil practise as necrophilia!

  • mindy1

    Good lord, I don’t think that’s allowed in ANY culture D:

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