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The Sciences

Levels of Rationality

Cosmic VarianceBy Mark TroddenMarch 6, 2007 9:21 AM


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My views on religion and its incompatibility with reason are far from a secret on this blog. Nevertheless, there are degrees of irrational behavior, and some religious practices are far more harmful to society than others. That's why I was happy to see the possibility for some progress in a brief story on Salon's broadsheet, which was reporting on a story by Yasmine Saleh in the Daily Star Egypt.

Egypt's Grand Mufti Aly Gomaa issued a fatwa declaring it religiously acceptable for a woman to have her hymen surgically reconstructed [...]. On the surface that might not seem grounds for celebration, but consider that in certain regions, an unmarried woman who loses her virginity might very well become the target of an "honor killing." Even better, though, is that Gomaa scoffed at the idea of considering a torn hymen as evidence that a woman has lost her virginity: "It is not rational for us to think that God has placed a sign to indicate the virginity of women without having a similar sign to indicate the virginity of men."

Gomaa had even more to say to guys who might take issue with this radical idea

"Any man who is concerned about his prospective wife's hymen should first provide a proof that he himself is virgin." [...] "Islam does not care for the feelings of ignorant people, just as the law does not protect the idiots."

Here's to progress, even if it must be tiny bit by tiny bit.

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