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18:40 GMT +3 hours28 December 2014
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‘Farewell Intercourse’ Bill Puzzles Egypt

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A bill sanctioning sex with one’s deceased wife was reportedly introduced in the Egyptian parliament, puzzling spectators and prompting talks about a provocation by allies of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

A bill sanctioning sex with one’s deceased wife was reportedly introduced in the Egyptian parliament, puzzling spectators and prompting talks about a provocation by allies of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

The draft bill, which is pending review, allows sex within up to six hours after the wife’s death, allegedly a period during which the couple is still considered married, Egyptian columnist Amro Abdul Samea wrote in the popular al-Ahram daily.

The proposal was first voiced by controversial Moroccan cleric Zamzami Abdul Bari in 2011, according to Al Arabiya television, which was the first to report the news in English on Friday. He said at the time the permission for posthumous sex also included widows of freshly deceased men.

Zamzami first gained notoriety in 2010, when he declared that pregnant women should be permitted to drink alcohol.

The news generated a storm of criticism in Egyptian media and social networks, while the Boston-based Christian Science Monitor slammed it as “utter hooey,” saying that the draft has no chance of gaining support in the country’s legislature.

Moreover, Abdul Samea himself is an ardent supporter of Mubarak, who was ousted in 2011 by popular uprising and now on trial in Egypt, the American newspaper said. It also called Zamzami a marginal with no serious public backing.

Islamists dominated the Egyptian legislature after the elections held between November and January, which followed Mubarak’s ouster. Proposals voiced by legislators so far have included a strict dress code for tourists and a blanket ban on pornography.