About that Supposed Egyptian Necrophilia Law - updated 4/28/12

Sheila Musaji

Posted Apr 27, 2012      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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About that Supposed Egyptian Necrophilia Law

by Sheila Musaji

A story spread across the internet yesterday that Egypt’s Parliament was going to consider a law that would allow Egyptian men to have sex with their dead wives for up to six hours after they died.  The story began with an article in Al Ahram by Amru Abdul Samea, and was picked up by other media sites, and then by the blogsphere.  Many of us had reservations about the truth of this story, especially since Al Ahram is the government newspaper, and the only source for all of the subsequent stories was this Abdul Samea.

The Islamophobes jumped on this gleefully.

— Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs posted an article Islamic Egypt Plans “Farewell Fornication Law” so Husbands can have sex with dead wives
— Bare Naked Islam posted an article including disgusting photographs. 
— Robert Spencer posted an article from Al Ahram with the intro “Here is yet more delightful evidence that Sharia is benign and completely compatible with U.S. Constitutional values, as we are constantly told.”
— Debbie Schlussel posted an article also with disgusting pictures and these comments from Schlussel “Yay–yet another “democratic” reform in Islamic Egypt, yet another reason to back up Barack Obama’s forcing out of Hosni Mubarak: the Muslim fanatics now running the country are enacting a new “farewell intercourse law,” which allows husbands to have sex with their dead wives up to six hours after their deaths. Very convenient: get rid of the wife in an honor killing, then have make-up sex right after, without any resistance.  ...  Aren’t ya glad Egypt is “liberated”?!  On the other hand, this ain’t about Egypt or artificially created borders in the Arab world. It’s just Islam. Again, THIS. IS. ISLAM. “Religion of Peace.” And Religion of Sex with the Female Already-Rested In Peace.”
— Ann Barnhardt on the American Thinker posted an articlethat contained this disgusting passage:  “Necrophilia is not a joke.  It is real, and it is being openly ratified and encouraged by the satanic political cult of Islam.  A culture of people who are so far gone that they literally see nothing wrong with copulating with dead bodies is a culture that is capable of any evil imaginable, and cannot be stopped with any appeal to decency, morality, or shame.  What we are seeing in the Muslim world is the final descent of a human society into hell itself, and they will attempt to take as many others with them as they possibly can.  If these people are capable of “sexual pleasure” with not just corpses, but the corpse of the one person in the world who they should have loved and respected above all others, do you honestly believe that they would hesitate for a moment in merely pushing a button that launched nuclear warheads at Tel Aviv, or London, or New York? Now, behold the fruits of the “Arab Spring”, engineered and fertilized by the Obama regime.  In Egypt today, a bill has been introduced by the new Islamist parliament legalizing “farewell intercourse”, affording a man a six hour window after his wife’s death for necrophilic sex.  The Moroccan fatwa was not merely a “one-off.”  Necrophilia is culturally intrinsic to those societies poisoned by the satanic political cult of Islam.  A clash between civilization and anti-civilization is coming, and coming fast.  The enemy is not laughing.  I would strongly recommend that we stop laughing at the enemy, and make ready for battle.”
— Walid Shoebat posted an article If you reject Necrophilia, you might be Islamophobic

The Islamophobes are not concerned with facts, their purpose is to demean Muslims, and running with this story is an example of how successful they are with their base.  Here are a few comments from Pamela Geller’s readers:

— Necrophilia is Islamic, Muhammad practiced it so it perfectly moral behavior (for a Muslim, anyway). Oh, and…ewww.
— UNbelievable . . . but so easy to believe from these horrors, these sub-humans.  ONE MORE REASON to support Israel
— Necrophilia being a part of the death cult called pisslam doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.
— Wow. That’s about as low as they can get. Depraved, abbherant behavior fitting of only the lowest form of life, or the most vile criminals is sanctioned as a part of their “religion.” How can anyone with even a half a brain cell firing think that behavior is okay?? Wonder how long it will be before we hear it’s perfectly permissible for Muslims to eat their babies after honor killing them.
— Muscums are really sick and very mentally sick animals .
— I used to think that moslems were sub-human. Now I know that they are mindless zombies straight from the bowels of hell.

It was hard to believe that there could be any truth to this story, however, not only Al Ahram, but then Al Arabiya had reported that Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) has appealed to the Islamist-dominated parliament not to approve two controversial laws on the minimum age of marriage and allowing a husband to have sex with his dead wife within six hours of her death according to a report in an Egyptian newspaper.   And, this supposed appeal from what seemed to be a real organization added some legitimacy to the possible validity of the story.

Imam Dr. Aslam Abdullah, the director of the Islamic Society of Nevada, the editor of the Muslim Observer and the director of the Muslim Electorates Council of America wrote a strong condemnation of this story, if true.  He wrote

The Egyptian parliament is reportedly set to introduce a law allowing husbands to have sex with their dead wives up to six hours after death.  Who is introducing this bill and with what purpose? It is not clear. One hopes that it is a hoax and those who stand for Islam would never indulge in such a bizarre legislative process. It is alleged that those who proposed this bill come from groups that believe in Islam as their guiding principle. Unless we hear definite words from these Islamic parties, we cannot that such legislation is pending.

However, references have been made to a ruling by a Moroccan cleric Zamzami Abdul Bari who last year gave permission to husbands to have sex with their dead wives. His argument: since the two would meet in Heaven again anyway, death shouldn’t get in the way of one last post-mortem marital romp.  It is this ruling that is the focus of this article.

Islam is very clear on the issue of matrimonial ties. With the death of a spouse the contract of marriage comes to an end. There is no difference in this regard among the scholars of all schools of thought. 

Thus the ruling of this so called Muslim cleric demonstrates the abuse of authority in the name of God. It shows a total disregard for common sense or even the basics of the Divine teachings. Furthermore, it shows how obsessed are some of the so called religious scholars with male sexuality. It is a shame that these people occupy any positions of authority in the Muslim community and that their views are accepted by anyone as a genuine interpretation of the Divine teachings. What is even worse is that Muslim scholars in general have chosen to be quiet on this issue. The opposition to Zamzami has come from secularists, and Muslim scholars, by and large, have preferred to ignore the issue.

What Zamzami decreed is a mockery of the divine teachings. The sura (chapter) two of the Quran in aya (verse) 79 described such people as those who frame the laws of the Shari’ah themselves and attribute them to God. The Quran describes them as worse than animals. The Quran further explains

“Worst of the creatures in the sight of Allah are those human beings who do not utilise the capabilities of hearing and speaking and refuse to understand (8:22).

The Quran goes even further consigning these people to a great torment while explaining “You will see many amongst both the Jinn and mankind who are destined for Jahannam for they have been given the faculties of thinking, seeing and hearing but they do not utilize them (to grasp the truth). They are just like brutes - and indeed worse than them. They remain un-heedful of the laws of Allah.  (7:179)

Who in his or her right mind will think of having sex with a dead corpse? Only a sick and perverted mind can think of such a thing when most people are concerned to ensure a swift and quick burial, as dictated by Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him. Imagine, the mourners are lining up at the house offering their condolences while the husband is busy in seeking his sexual gratification from the dead body of his wife in the name of fulfilling his obligation. It is blasphemy. It is animalistic and those who even think of these things deserve to be castrated rather than being given any legal protection.  It is a shame that those advocating such a practice and giving it a legal shield claim to be Muslims representing Islam: the divine message that talks of human dignity, for dead or alive.

These perverted scholars are obsessed with male sexuality. To most of them women serve the purpose of providing their male partners utmost sexual gratification. It does not matter to them what a woman thinks or feels. What is important for them is to ensure that the male sexuality is taken care of. They have misused God and His messengers in justifying their lustful perverted thoughts. They talk of divine curse on women who refuse to submit to the sexual desires of their husbands and they argue for a meek and submissive wife who must live in the shadow of her husbands ever ready to serve him. They even justify marrying girls at a younger age because it serves the male sexual chauvinistic fantasies. The worst is that they concoct all their perversions in the name of God and His messenger specially Prophet Muhammad. They have even concocted stories attributing the practice of marrying younger girls to the Prophet and his companions against the Quranic commands, their common sense and decency. To them what is more important is what have been given by the previous scholars. The divine teachings or the actual character of the messenger hardly matter to them. They describe all those who refuse to accept their perversion as deviants, un-Godly, and worthy of denunciations. Some even go a step further by describing women who want to assert their independence as whores and a piece of worthless flesh. How abhorrent is their action and how despicable is their behavior. They do not deserve to be leading Muslims in prayers or teaching the believers their faith. They deserve to be sent in mental asylums. They need help in rediscovering their humanity.

Even if such a bill is introduced in the parliament we hope that those standing for Islam would be the ones fighting these perversions and manipulations. We have no reason to believe that they themselves are the ones who are supportive of these obsessions. Is this the priority of Islam to allow husbands to have sex with their dead wives? Is this the priority of Muslims to allow parents to marry their daughters at an early age when they are not ready to make big decisions in their lives? We hope they are intelligent and would not turn a serious faith to ridicule by burlesquing and immaturity to imitate their perversions grotesquely and absurdly?

We do not need these scholars who impose their ideas on divine ideas. We do not need these religious teachers. And that is why the Quran has empowered each and every individual to seek clarification and guidance directly from the divine scriptures. In the eyes of the Quran, they are the culprits and they must be questioned and challenged.

They should have known that even though legends with necrophilia themes are common throughout history and the concept of sexual interference with the dead has been known since the ancient Egyptians, and it has been an abhorred practice as noted by Herodotus (428 BC)
“When the wife of a distinguished man dies, or any woman who happens to be beautiful or well known, her body is not given to the embalmers immediately, but only after the lapse of three or four days. This is a precautionary measure to prevent the embalmers from violating her corpse, a thing which is actually said to have happened in the case of a woman who had just died.” (de Selincourt, translation, 1972, p.161)

... I wish the scholar who issued such a fatwa should have listened to the Quran and the world history before introducing his ideas. I wish he should have acted in defense of the dignity of the dead as well as alive as his main priority. I wish he might have acted more responsibly in these matters if not for others then for the sake of his daughters and sisters who would one day face death.

One of the roles assigned to the Prophet as explained in the Quran was “to lift the burdens under which the humanity groans and free them from the shackles which bind them [7:157].  What a shame that the scholar speaking in the name of Islam want to defy the Prophet in such a serious matter..

Dan Murphy at the Christian Science Monitor was the first to say that the story of the Egyptian Parliament considering such a law is “Hooey, utter hooey”,  without any substantiating evidence.  He also points out about Zamzami, the Moroccan preacher who issued his strange statement last year

“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.”

Whoever this fringe Moroccan preacher Abdelbari Zamzami is, he can only be part of what I call the Muslim lunatic fringe.

Tunisia Live News reports that

Egyptian political activist Ahmed Zahran of the party Tayar Masry, or “Stream,” says that at least one of them does not exist.

“There is no law and no draft,” he said over the phone, speaking about the rumor that MPs were considering making necrophilia legal.

The news about these two draft laws were circulated by Al Arabiya and the Daily Mail yesterday, after the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram was said to have reported the issue. The news sites said that Egypt’s National Council for Women was launching an appeal against the laws, but a quick look on their website reveals no news of said discussion.

Zahran said that Egyptian Parliamentary sessions can be seen live on the internet, and that no such law has been proposed. He also explained that Egyptian journalist Sarah Carr has investigated the matter, and has said that what is being called the “farewell intercourse law” originated with a talk given by an Egyptian media personality, and has no bases in the discussions of actual MPs, at least in the public sphere.

Dan Amira in New York Magazine reports that the story is probably not real.  He notes that

“the story is entirely predicated on an opinion column written by a loyalist of Hosni Mubarak who presumably has a motive to embarrass the Islamists who have taken control of Parliament in the wake of Mubarak’s downfall.”

Craig Silverman of Poynter.org points out that the story was widely repeated but not fact checked and is probably not true.

The translation leaves a little to be desired, but an Egyptian blogger has more on this story here and says it is a false rumor.

Michael Collins Dunn posted an excellent analysis of how this rumor spread that includes this

Andrew Sullivan, whose widely-read blog at The Daily Beast is usually above this sort of thing, but who distrusts fundamentalism whether Christian or Muslim, quoted The Daily Mail (since he’s British, I doubt if he had it confused with The Economist as far as reliability goes), and had some harsh words for Islam. Admittedly and to his credit, he has since noted and quoted the evidence that the story’s untrue, but it’s further evidence of how far this story went and how respectable media bought it for a while.

So how did this story go so far? The following reconstruction is based on others’ work, mostly 1) Egyptian journalist Sarah Carr, who posted a response to the Daily Mail article (which is now buried in a comments thread that runs to more than 800, but which she posted to Facebook for the record) and has since pursued the issue, blogger Zeinobia, who was also on the case early, and Murphy’s previously cited CSM article. Carr, I think, nails the unspoken presumptions that helped spread the story:

While I appreciate that the Daily Mail sifts the Internet daily for news pieces that will confirm to its readers that Muslims are all book-burning, wife-incarcerating, turban-wearing lunatics, and while I appreciate that this item is particularly attractive because of its salaciousness, if Lee Moran had troubled himself to do a little bit of research beyond translating an op-ed and a TV talking head, he would have discovered that in fact, a draft law to allow men to bonk their deceased wives does not exist. This may seem remarkable, given that Egyptians (i.e. scary mooslems) revolted in 2011 for PRECISELY this right, but there we are.

If Mr Moran’s googling had been more thorough he would have discovered that this rumour was started by a local wacko who, alas, has a public platform by virtue of the fact that he owns a satellite channel.

This is what seems to be the timeline:

1. The only named person who is known to have actually claimed that Islam supports this bizarre idea is a Moroccan sheikh, Zamzami Abdelbari, a fringe figure, and even he apparently said it was a repulsive practice. I’ve spoken before somewhere on this blog about my reluctance to indulge in the latest “crazy sheikh/crazy fatwa” report, in which the media focuses on a so-called “fatwa” from some self-proclaimed “sheikh” with a following that may include his immediate family, and treat this as some sort of “official” ruling. This guy has nothing to do with Egypt.

2. Next, the plot moves to Egyptian satellite TV owner/talk show host/conspiracy theorist Tawfiq Okasha. Okasha has been a critic of the revolutionaries, a conspiracist who sees the US and Israel behind everything, a rabble-rouser last mentioned on this blog as being blamed for promoting attacks on the US Embassy. Zeinobia compares him to the US’ Glenn Beck. This broadcast (Arabic) seems to be the first appearance of this idea  of “Farewell intercourse”  (مضاجعة الوداع) in Egypt:

3. Next, the story moves to the state-owned Al-Ahram where a secularist, anti-Islamist columnist named Amr Abdel Samea edtorialized that the Egyptian National Organization for Women were protesting this and a proposed law reducing the marriage age (which actually is advocated by some Islamists.) The link is in Arabic. It doesn’t clearly cite a specific bill or any advocates of such a bill. It refers to “talk about” such a bill, but not specifying by whom. It’s more a case of  a rhetorical “if the Islamists have their way they’re liable to do something this crazy.”

4. Abdel Samea’s op-ed then provokes in turn a sensational TV commentary from Gaber al-Qarnouty on the channel ON TV. He quotes Abdel Samea but talks as if there is actually a draft law under discussion. It has gone from nightmare scenario to stated fact:

5. It’s this Qarnouty broadcast that was picked up by the English website of Al-Arabiya, in the post that was then picked up throughout the West:

Egyptian prominent journalist and TV anchor Jaber al-Qarmouty on Tuesday referred to Abdul Samea’s article in his daily show on Egyptian ON TV and criticized the whole notion of “permitting a husband to have sex with his wife after her death under a so-called ‘Farewell Intercourse’  draft law.”

“This is very serious. Could the panel that will draft the Egyptian constitution possibly discuss such issues? Did Abdul Samea see by his own eyes the text of the message sent by Talawi to Katatni? This is unbelievable. It is a catastrophe to give the husband such a right! Has the Islamic trend reached that far? Is there really a draft law in this regard? Are there people thinking in this manner?” 

Of course, the answer to Qarnouty’s rhetorical questions are “No, no, and no.” But the next step is the jump to the Daily Mail report that “Egyptian husbands will soon be legally allowed to have sex with their   dead wives.” The fact that there’s no basis for the report that anyone has yet found, is of course lost in translation.

Sarah Carr again:“Conclusion: It’s a load of bollocks.” That’s the British equivalent of Murphy’s “utter hooey.” It’s a crock.

Once again, at the end of the day there no “there” there, there’s no story. Most of the respectable media that reported the story yesterday have put up hedging clarifications, but this is a story that didn’t need to spread so widely to begin with. There may be a Moroccan sheikh who’s this far over the edge, but there’s no necrophilia bill in the Egyptian Parliament.

So what we have is a story initiated by Mubarak supporter in the Egyptian government run newspaper which went viral because a number of media outlets ran the story without fact checking, and the Islamophobia propaganda mill expanded on it and passed it on to their various internet sites. 

As a sidenote, even the possible consideration of lowering of the marriage age to 14 in Egypt is an unsubstantiated claim.  I would strongly disagree with such a consideration as does Imam Aslam Abdullah above.  However, before getting too self-righteous about such a possibility, check out the U.S. marriage laws by state here where you will find that for example:  In New Hampshire A female between the age of 13 and 17 years and a male between the age of 14 and 17 years can be married only with the permission of their parent (guardian) and a waiver (See Waiver).  And, in New York If either applicant is 14 or 15 years of age, such applicant(s) must present the written consent of both parents and a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the Family Court having jurisdiction over the town or city in which the application is made. 

I will be waiting for apologies and updates from all involved.  I am certain that for the Islamophobes it will be a long wait. 

What is sad is that such stories take on a life of their own, and even after they have been debunked, they continue to be repeated, often for years.  They are added to the propaganda that I call what everyone “knows” about Islam and Muslims.

UPDATE 4/28/2012

Robert Spencer has posted a “response” to Dan Murphy’s Christian Science Monitor article titled Christian Science Monitor writer says Egypt’s proposed “necrophilia law” is “utter hooey” because…he wants it to be.  As usual Spencer gets his facts mixed up.  He says

So many people have sent this story to me this morning that it seemed worth posting, but not as the cautionary tale it was meant to be. Rather, it is an object lesson in irresponsible journalism. Several days ago I posted this story from al-Arabiya, which has now circulated around the world and aroused considerable disgust. Even the most indefatigable Islamic supremacist apologists, such as the serial liar Sheila Musaji at The American Muslim, are embarrassed by it, and immediately tried to start explaining it away. Now Dan Murphy of the august Christian Science Monitor has come to their aid, reassuring us all that the story is “utter hooey.”

Actually, Murphy was the first to publish an article questioning the accuracy of this story.  Many others have then added information and done fact checking.  I didn’t write this article until AFTER Murphy and others published their articles,  and even mention Murphy’s article in mine.  So, it is hard to see how Murphy could have subsequently come to my aid.

It is Geller and Spencer who are serial liars.  These people consistently promote what I call the what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims.  They generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.   When they are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

There is a reason that the ADL (A Jewish anti-defamation group) has said that Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) is a “group that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.   There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that they are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear Inc.” report on the Islamophobia network in America.  There is a reason that they are featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  There is a reason that they are featured in the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.  There is a reason that they are featured in our TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.  There is a reason that they are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. 



Fear Not, “Weekend at Bernie’s” is haram after all, Svend White http://www.altmuslimah.com/a/b/spa/4624/