Two decades ago, Facebook and Twitter were not invited yet. Internet and e-mail wasn’t there as well as Youtube. However, jokes were transferred among people in a different way: In the past we used to carry a piece of newspaper or magazine with jokes or cartoon and show it to our friends to read and laugh.
I still remember one of these jokes that talks about a man who was caught sleeping with a dead woman. When the judge asked him, he said: I didn’t know she was dead, I thought she was an English woman! The joke talks about the English woman and her frigidity, and I remember an English girl friend that read it and laughed with everyone.
Unfortunately, what happens in the Egyptian Parliament isn’t funny at all. It’s so sad and so painful to see in a country with five thousand years of civilization.
We have heard that the Egyptian parliament is now discussing a draft of a law that allows the husband to have a farewell intercourse with his dead wife during the first six hours of her death! The onset of this issue came after a fatwa of the Moroccan sheik Abdul Bari al-Zemzemi in May 2011 that the husband has the right to have sex with his wife even after her death!
Frankly, I do not know what kind of memories can this sick act arouse for such sick husband? Is the marital relationship with all its aspects that two people share: making a family, raising children and supporting one another emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually are reduced into this sick action? Is this sexual fare well with a dead body compensates this sick husband for all these memories?
On the other hand, this sexual farewell party won’t benefit her as dead people don’t feel. Is this the best way to honor the dead woman? Is this the image that a woman wants her husband to remember after she dies? Is this a decent idea to look at the woman as a sexual toy that when the man realizes that there is no more sex with her, he asks for one more time with the dead body! Who knows, maybe she had always been only a body for him, and it doesn’t make much of a difference whether this body is dead or alive!
I am sorry that such issues are discussed in the Parliament of Egypt these days, giving the chance to the whole world to make fun of us, as if this is the most important problems that face Egypt! We are facing bankruptcy, but we don’t discuss important issues such as: the economy, unemployment, and high cost of living, security, education, health, housing, transportation, and lack of important commodities... etc. Instead, the subject to be debated by our respectful parliament is how to give a sick man one last opportunity for sexual intercourse with his dead wife before her burial. Is this a kind of grave punishment? Maybe he is the bald snake that Islam says it has something to do with dead people in the grave!
Where is the sanctity of the dead? Where is the Egyptian principle which says that honoring the dead person is to bury him or her? Are women are so disrespectful even after their death!
I am sorry that the person who defends such acts and asks to legalize it in the Egyptian Parliament is the MP Azza al-Garf, who is a woman that really offends women. She asks for giving the man the right to sleep with his dead wife. She also assures that women are less than men concerning reason and religion, and woman doesn’t fit to be a leader! She demands girls’ circumcision as she thinks it helps them to be virtuous. She demands allowing girls to get married at the age of 14 which destroy their childhood, neglecting that girls at this age are not ready to have sex, get conceived, raise children and take care of a family. Last but not least, she wants to stop learning English as it’s the language of the enemies!!
While I see Azza does so, I remember Huda Sharawy who did exactly the opposite of what Azza does.
Huda was born in 1897 when Egyptian women had no rights, but she devoted her life to emancipation of Egyptian women, founded an association to care for children. Convinced the university to make a class for women, called to prevent girls from getting married before the age of 16, called other women to take off the cover of the face and she was the first to do so in front of everyone. On the contrary, you are trying to do the opposite and move us back in time before Huda Sharawy, what an achievement!
Huda died in 1974, and history doesn’t mention that her husband had asked for a Farewell intercourse, as she, and many other women, has a lot of gifts which are more important than her dead body!