Monday, July 23, 2007

'Stupidest fatwas'

Last month, I told you about the breast-feeding fatwa (unmarried men and women could be together at work if the woman breast-fed her male colleagues five times, to establish family ties) and the urine fatwa (drinking the prophet's pee was a blessing).

It looks like Foreign Policy was inspired -- not by me, but the lunacy of the breast-feeding fatwa -- and they published a short list of 'The World's Stupidest Fatwas.' The breast-feeder made it on the list of five dumb fatwas. Also making an appearance were:

• The order on Salman Rushdie's life

• The ruling by the former dean of Islamic law at al-Azhar University in Cairo that “being completely naked during the act of coitus annuls the marriage"

• The Pokemon fatwa, because, obviously, Pokemon is stupid, evil and promotes "international Zionism"

• The polio fatwa that forbade Pakistani children this year from receiving the vaccine because the anti-Western clerics said it was a conspiracy to make Muslims sterile

These are the same great jurists who have given us such fatwas as "kill the Jews and the Crusaders." Here's my question, it's one I've asked before to Islamic reformer Khaled Abou El Fadl at UCLA Law School: Why does anybody listen to these guys?

(Hat-tip: Bible Belt Blog)

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