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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Death penalty for women who fake virginity"

I've mentioned a number of times about how some women in the Arab world are forced to go through hymen-restoration surgery before marriage in order to ensure that they won't get murdered by their new loving husbands upon the discovery that their hymens are not intact. Most recently, a Saudi fatwa seemed to allow such surgery, although hundreds of Jordanian women are forced to have their "virginity" examined before marriage by prospective in-laws.

Now, Chinese technology has upped the ante.

From the BBC (h/t Soccer Dad via email):

A leading Egyptian scholar has demanded that people caught importing a female virginity-faking device into the country should face the death penalty.

Abdul Mouti Bayoumi said supplying the item was akin to spreading vice in society, a crime punishable by death in Islamic Sharia law.

The device is said to release liquid imitating blood, allowing a female to feign virginity on her wedding night.

There is a stigma about pre-marital sex in conservative Arab societies.

The contraption is seen as a cheap and simple alternative to hymen repair surgery, which is carried out in secret by some clinics in the Middle East.

It is produced in China and has already become available in other parts of the Arab world.

The device is reported to be on sale in Syria for $15.

Professor Bayoumi, a scholar at the prestigious al-Azhar University, said it undermined the moral deterrent of fornication, which he described as a crime and one of the cardinal sins in Islam.

Members of parliament in Egypt have also called for banning import of the item.

At Al Azhar, a women's virginity is apparently valued higher than their very lives.