Professor Abdul-mouti Bayoumi, a leading Muslim scholar in Egypt has called for the death penalty for those caught smuggling into the country a device allowing women to fake their virginity.
He made the demand following reports that the device, currently made in China, had become available on the market in parts of the Arab world for $US15. The device is supposed to release a liquid imitating blood, thus allowing women to possibly feign virginity on their wedding night. It is also meant to be a cheap and easy alternative option to hymen repair surgery, which is carried out in secret by some clinics in the Middle East. As the BBC reports, there is a a stigma about pre-marital sex in some conservative Arab Societies.
Bayoumi considers that supplying the item allows to spread vice in society, a crime punishable by death in Islamic Sharia law. He said it undermined the moral deterrent of fornication, which he described as a crime and one of the cardinal sins in Islam.
Members of parliament in Egypt have also called for banning imports of the item.
Other reasons to get the death penalty in the Middle East includes adultery, homosexual behavior. Prostitution and offensive blogging (for not following government lines) are also currently debated (in Iran).
The death penalty for smuggling virginity devices? Certainly not a joke.