When Socrates had the opportunity to escape jail, he refused to leave. Even though the Athenians verdict him wrongly and unfairly, he believed one should respect the law above anything and everything.
Rumors surround and girdle Egypt these days as her Islamist-dominated parliament members are intending to pass a law, legalizing husbands (widowers) in engaging in sexual intercourse with their deceased wives for six hours following her death. This is in a way, they say, enables every husband to bid his last farewell.
The diffusion of such rumors easily reached the minds of people in the west, since the perspective of Islam is based on media coverage, most of which is biased or portrays an unbalanced and negative image of Muslims, and thus, of Islam. Those who are not very much acquainted with Islam started to believe this is based on Islamic doctrine and teachings, which permit such act of disgrace.
Though, one needs to indulge themselves in understanding that this, “Farewell intercourse”, is just a judgment of one specific Islamic scholar. Alarabiya.net reported in 2011 that Zamzami Abdul Bari, a Moroccan Islamist cleric, said that in the name of Islam, men are permitted to have sex with their wives following her death and that the same applies to women. This I would say is a deadly cholera reaching Egypt from Morocco this month especially when in May 2011, the Morocco Board News Service reported that this person is an imposter.
How did this happen? It all began when a columnist for Al Ahram newspaper, Amr Abdul Samea, published an opinion article stating the existence of such draft law, which is being discussed in the Egyptian parliament and that the Egyptians are very active in making their voice heard. As he states, the National Council for Women in Egypt has appealed this and many women are in the street protesting to this outrageous “Farewell Intercourse” law from being enforced. This information was then borrowed by Alarabiya news (English version) and soon was circulated around the world via different social network sites depicted as news. Irresponsible journalism to its core.
One should not forget to mention that Abdul Samea is “a past stalwart supporter of the deposed Hosni Mubarak” while Al Ahram is a state run newspaper, according to Christian Science Monitor report.
The Daily Mail, through its journalist Sarah Carr, stated that all this is a mere rumor and the existence of such draft law is far from true and reality as it all began with one opinion article.
The other part of the controversial law Egypt intends to pass as rumor has it, concerns the legalisation of the minimum age of 14 for girls to be married. This age represents a beginning of adolescence and a time where girls experience many physical and psychological changes as well as intellectual and rational growth. How can an undeveloped girl be a woman and a wife at the same time?
If one supposes that such draft law exists and it should be enforced as it is in the name of Islam, they are fortunately mistaken. For Islam “religion of peace” is based on respect for the dead.
The Christian Science Monitor last week stated strongly “the chances of any such piece of legislation being considered by the Egyptian parliament for a vote is zero”.
Obeying and respecting laws as Socrates did, cannot be pursued today. For laws are being issued or are in the process of being announced yet stand on no essence or value. But, what happens if such law exists and hence will be passed? Should the Egyptians be Socrates and therefore accept and respect this law?