I am all in favour of breastfeeding. But sometimes a good thing can be taken too far.
According to BBC News, Dr Izzat Atiya of Al-Hazar University in Cairo issued a fatwa as follows:
He said that if a woman fed a male colleague “directly from her breast” at least five times, they would establish a family bond and thus be allowed to be alone together at work.
“Breast feeding an adult puts an end to the problem of the private meeting, and does not ban marriage,” he ruled.
“A woman at work can take off the veil or reveal her hair in front of someone whom she breastfed.”
Apparently, according to sharia law, breastfeeding at infancy establishes a familial relationship between a woman and child even if there is no biological relationship. Dr Atiya sought to extend that principle to adults in order to get around the problem of segregation in the workplace.
Well, I’m glad he was thinking of creative solutions to segregation in the workplace… That’s a good start to providing equal opportunity for women in the workplace in Islamic countries. But no, no, no, ugh! Allowing a colleague to drink from your breast seems a million, billion, trillion times worse than allowing him to see you with your hair uncovered.
I’m glad to say that this ruling has sparked outrage throughout Egypt and the Muslim world. It has been retracted as defamatory to Islam.