Cairo, Egypt - Al-Azhar University, one of Sunni Islam's most prestigious institutions, ordered one of its clerics Monday to face a disciplinary panel after he issued a controversial decree allowing adults to breast-feed.
Ezzat Attiya had issued a fatwa, or religious edict, saying adult men could breast-feed from female work colleagues as a way to avoid breaking Islamic rules that forbid men and women from being alone together.
In Islamic tradition, breast-feeding establishes a degree of maternal relation, even if a woman nurses a child who is not biologically hers. It means the child could not marry the nursing woman's biological children.
Attiya - the head of Al-Azhar's department of Hadith, or teachings of the Prophet Muhammad - insisted the same would apply with adults.
He argued that if a man nursed from a co-worker, it would establish a family bond between them and allow the two to work side-by-side without raising suspicion of an illicit sexual relation.
His fatwa raised a widespread outcry in Egypt, with religious authorities rejecting the edit and several newspapers deriding Attiya for issuing it. Several lawmakers called for Attiya to be punished.
Friday, 25 May 2007
Keeping you abreast of the situation.