Thursday, April 26, 2012

Debunking Bogus Story About Egyptian "Farewell Intercourse" Legislation

Several media outlets, including the Daily Mail and Daily Caller, have been busy spreading a story about how the Egyptian legislature is considering a bill that would allow a spouse to have sexual relations with their deceased spouse.

Think about that for a moment.

Does this even sound like a rational bill for consideration anywhere in the world.

Does it pass the smell test?

It doesn't, and yet media outlets have run with it nevertheless in which they breathless claim that the Egyptian Parliament would allow spouses to have intercourse with their deceased within 6 hours after the death.

For starters, Islamic law is pretty strict about handling the deceased, including not disturbing the remains except for the possibility of autopsy. Some of the requirements are similar to Jewish law including ritual cleansing of the body, wrapping in a shroud, watching over it, and prompt burial (which makes sense in the Middle East where the heat predicates a swift burial to avoid problems with decomposition).

Depending on who you ask, the family is involved in the cleansing and wrapping or it is left to professionals.

Allowing fornication with the deceased would violate a key precept of the Muslim ritual burial/funeral practices. It would never pass muster.

Regardless of who started the rumor (and it appears to have been an Ahram reporter with an agenda), the fact is that this is a bogus law/discussion about changing Egyptian law. It was not considered, it isn't being considered, and it would be antithetical to Islamic law.

That, on its face, should have set off alarm bells that something wasn't halal with the narrative being pushed by media outlets that couldn't give a damn about what they reprinted so long as someone else printed it first.

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