Egyptian ‘wife rape’ fatwa issued, Salafist cleric silenced

Egyptian ‘wife rape’ fatwa issued, Salafist cleric silenced

With a history of issuing über-fundamentalist Islamic fatwas (religious rulings), Egypt’s Sheikh Yasser Burhami may have landed himself in more hot water than he’s prepared to deal with in latest edict. As reported by the Royal House of Saud-owned Al Arabiya and the Nigerian-based Naij news service, the Islamic cleric is also the Vice President of the influential and notoriously hard-core Al-Da’wa Al-Salafiya (ultra-orthodox Salafist) Movement.

Prompting cries of outrage from both the population in general as well as on social media, Burhami ruled on what is popularly known as “the rape fatwa.” The preacher decreed that it is permissible for a Muslim man to allow his wife to be sexually assaulted and violated so long as the husband believes that his life is in danger. Equating the rape of a man’s spouse to lost money during a mugging, the cleric added, “In this case he is forced [to surrender her] and not obliged [to defend her].”

This particular fatwa isn’t the only head-scratching directive issued by Burhami. He recently ruled that a husband has the right to execute his wife if he catches her in an adulterous affair, with the curious proviso that he actually witnesses “his wife being penetrated by another man.”

Sporting a huge bruise on his forehead from pounding his head on the ground repeatedly while at prayer, the Sheikh may have had his headaches added to by the chorus of condemnations of his teachings. Perhaps the one Twitter message that best sums up the avalanche of social media outrage was the one micro-blogging blast: “They say the only animal who does not protect his females … is Yasser Burhami.”

Known for his fundamentalist interpretation of the Islamic Qur’an and accompanying Shari’a Law, Sheikh Burhami is on the outs with the nation’s Ministry of Religious Endowments. Burhami has been officially banned by the government from preaching in any of the North African nation’s mosques, ostensibly due to the good Sheikh’s failure to graduate from Cairo’s al-Azhar University, long considered to be the highest center of learning in the Sunni branch of Islam, of which the majority of the world’s Muslim adhere to.

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman is a retired Master Sergeant of Marines. He is the founder of the blog Unapologetically Rude and has written for Examiner and other blogs.

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