Recent reports that Egypt’s parliament is working on a law that would permit husbands to have sex with their newly-deceased wives have been dismissed as “complete nonsense,” according to the Daily Mail.
Citing “sources inside the Egyptian Embassy in London,” the Mail reported Friday the claims were “completely false,” “forbidden in Islam” and that those interviewed “could never imagine it happening.” While not an official rebuttal, an embassy source told the site no such proposal had reached parliament, though acknowledged “it could be the work of an extremist politician.”
According to the journalism institution Poynter, reports of the “farewell intercourse law” first surfaced in an opinion piece published in Egypt’s state newspaper Al Ahram. It gained traction once it was picked up by the English-language Al Arabiya — which described it as “allowing a husband to have sex with his dead wife within six hours of her death” — and then quickly appeared in the Daily Mail, the Huffington Post, Andrew Sullivan’s blog and elsewhere.
The Christian Science Monitor on Thursday blasted the claims as “utter hooey,” stating, “inflammatory claims, need at minimum some evidence….The evidence right now? Zero.”
The English news site Tunisia Live on Friday similarly reported on the pushback to the reports, citing an Egyptian political activist who said “There is no law and no draft”:
He also explained that Egyptian journalist Sarah Carr has investigated the matter, and has said that what is being called the “farewell intercourse law” originated with a talk given by an Egyptian media personality, and has no bases in the discussions of actual MPs, at least in the public sphere.
As Poynter noted, news sites have since started updating their reports with concerns that the story is false and possibly planted by loyalists of ousted President Hosni Mubarak to discredit the Egyptian government.