Monday, March 05, 2007

Egyptian Grand Mufti Endorses Born-Again Virginity

Brian
Grand Mufti Aly Gomaa, the highest-ranking Sunni religious-law official in Egypt, declared that it is religiously permissible for women who lost their virginity before marriage to have reconstructive hymen surgery and that women who sincerely regret their sexual history are not required to tell their husbands:
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.

. . . .

"If God wants us to know everything about each other, He would have given us the ability to read each others' minds, so why did he not do so? Perhaps maybe someone would have a wrong idea about you now but will change it later," Gomaa said.

. . . .

"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.
Link (via Feministing and Eteraz.org). So it's still a story of men giving women permission regarding their sexuality, and it's still about women having to physically alter their bodies to hide their sexual history, but when it's a choice between that and being stoned to death because of "honor" (pdf), this kind of proclamation is pretty important.

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