Necrophilia in Egypt – Not so Fast

Last week there was a report out of Egypt that the parliament was considering a law, supported by Islamists, that would permit men to have sex with their spouses up to 6 hours after the death of the woman. Well, it seems that this bit viral news was a bit premature.

The story was translated into English by Al Arabiya, and was quickly picked up by outlets like the Huffington Post and the sensationalist British tabloid The Daily Mail, which distorted the original claim from a proposal to a done deal: “Egyptian husbands will soon be legally allowed to have sex with their dead wives,” the tabloid claimed, apparently having misunderstood the original Arabiya translation. The story buzzed around the world, held up in blogs as evidence of the immorality of Islamist politicians. The current version of the Wikipedia article on necrophilia even has a section devoted to the claim.

The problem is that there was never any such proposal, at any stage of consideration, in the Egyptian parliament. Ms. Tallawy issued a statement today that says she’s concerned about legislation that may harm the position of women in Egypt, but that there was never any “sex after death law” under consideration, let alone one she complained about. Arabiya followed up as well, quoting Parliament Secretary Sami Mahran as saying no such piece of legislation ever existed.

Apparently, the original piece was written by a writer loyal to Hosni Mubarak in a effort to discredit the new ruling party.Politics is a dirty business.

There is much to despise in the Islamic religion, just as there is in any. However, it makes critics seem ridiculous when false information is disseminated. This is just as important for bloggers as it is for mainstream news outlets.


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