Now a unique list to add to the others: the “weirdest fatwas” of 2011, brought to you by Al Arabiya. Here are some:
One of the weirdest and most controversial fatwas in 2011 was one issued by an Islamist preacher who lives in Europe. According to this preacher, women are prohibited from eating phallic-shaped fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, bananas, and carrots. Touching or consuming those, he argued, are bound to turn women on and make them engage in sinful fantasies.
In Morocco, the head of the Moroccan Association for Jurisprudence Research stirred both outrage and controversy when he issued a fatwa allowing Muslim men to have sex with their just-deceased wives under the pretext that nothing in Islam prohibits sex with corpses. This fatwa followed a series of sex-related ones issued by the same cleric.
That fatwa prompted a Moroccan-American blog to publish an article earlier this year titled “Necrophilia is Now Halal in Morocco,” referring to meat considered appropriate for consumption by Muslims.
More from Al Arabiya’s “weirdest fatwas” list:
In Somalia, the ultraconservative al-Shabaab al-Mujahedin Movement issued a fatwa during the holy month of Ramadan prohibiting the consumption of sambousak, a triangular pastry stuffed with meat, cheese, or vegetables. The popular snack, they explained, is a symbol of the Trinity in Christianity and is therefore not to be consumed by Muslims […]
The most outrageous fatwa in Egypt was one that came out last June and in which Egyptian preacher Mohamed al-Zoghbi said eating the meat of the jinn is permissible in Islam and left everyone wondering how anyone can get hold of them in the first place, let alone eat their meat.
That’s because the “jinn” the hardline Salafi preacher was referring to are demons or genies in English. A United Arab Emirates newspaper explained that what the Sheikh really meant was that it’s OK for Muslims to eat livestock that are possessed by “jinn.”
The Los Angeles Times quoted the same Salafi preacher Mohamed al-Zoghbi earlier this year promoting the goal of an Islamic caliphate with sharia law in Egypt:
"If Egypt becomes a caliphate, then the Middle East and Arab countries will follow our path. All Muslim youth should strive and die to build this caliphate even over their own bodies."
Interestingly, the weirdest fatwas list was compiled by Al Arabiya, an Arabic television network (with a sister English news site) based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi-owned, a country facing its own recent criticism for its controversial education system that includes jihadist school texts, and a decision to behead a woman for allegedly practicing sorcery.
With such a wide array of prohibitions and permissions issued, it’s hard to imagine 2012’s fatwas getting any weirder.