Saturday, February 24, 2007

The 40 year old Egyptian Virgin

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.

From Daily Star, Egypt

I rather like Egypt.

Other bits -
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

I rather like the idea of someone interpreting the old books according to the principles they were founded on, rather than on some pet issue latter-day clerics found pressing. It's also good to see someone who realises that there's a huge difference between a cultural practice that sprung up because of the need to be able to apply a principle in that period of time, and a religious obligation.

According to the good mufti here, the overriding principle is protection of life and self, which takes precedence over telling your husband of your vagina's extra-curricular activities. The latter is based on the idea that the vagina somehow belongs to the husband, and as such, he gets to control it, as his personal spawning pond.

In the way he's interpreting it, the mufti is essentially saying that a women's well-being takes precedence over some man's sexual right.

It's International Women's Day next month. I'm in that kind of mood. On a side note, the mufti sounds a bit looney. I should probably check if it's been reported anywhere else.

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