I didn't know things were quite this regulated in Morocco:
The editor of Morocco's Al-Ahdath Al-Maghribia daily newspaper, Moktar el-Ghzioui, is living in fear for his life after he expressed support for pre-marital sex during a local television debate."The next thing there was a cleric from Oujda releasing a fatwa that I should die," he says.
"I am very scared for myself and my family. It's a real blow to all the modernists who thought Morocco was moving forward."
According to article 490 of the penal code, Moroccans can be jailed for having sexual relations outside marriage. This is based on Islamic law, which bans unmarried people from engaging in sexual activity....
An unmarried man and woman were recently jailed for six weeks after they were caught having sexual relations.If you thought slippery slope arguments about gay marriage were bad, you've heard nothing yet:
Imam Hassan Ait Belaid who preaches at a mosque in the commercial capital Casablanca says article 490 is part of the culture of a non-Western society.
"If the code is removed, we will become wild savages. Our society will become a disaster," he says.Politicians like to get in on the act too:
But Morocco's Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid, from the newly elected Islamist government, has made it clear that he will not change the law.However, some of these traditional ways of thinking can have some awful consequences:
"Legalising sex outside marriage is an initiative to promote debauchery," he said recently.
...last year, a judge ordered a 16-year-old girl, Amina Filali, to marry the man who had raped her, in order to preserve her family's honour.
She committed suicide in March after she was severely beaten by her husband.Anyway, this raises the question - when was fornication in the West illegal? Wikipedia provides a partial answer:
In England in 1650, during the ascendency of the Puritans, fornication was made a felony. At the Restoration in 1660, this statute was not renewed, and prosecution of the mere act of fornication itself was abandoned. However, notorious and open lewdness, when carried to the extent of exciting public scandal, continued to be an indictable offence at common law .I was more surprised to read of the American situation. I thought they had only fretted about which orifices were involved, but apparently not:
...some jurisdictions, a total of 16 in the southern and eastern United States, as well as the states of Wisconsin and Utah passed statutes creating the offense of "fornication" that prohibited (vaginal) sexual intercourse between two unmarried people of the opposite sex. Most of these laws either were repealed, were not enforced, or were struck down by the courts in several states as being odious to their state constitutions. See also State v. Saunders, 381 A.2d 333 (N.J. 1977), Martin v. Ziherl, 607 S.E.2d 367 (Va. 2005).What the heck? Ordinary fornication was a crime in Virginia until 2005!? (Mind you, the footnotes to the article about the Martin v Ziherl case indicate that it only attracted a $250 fine (sounds like it could have been handled as an on the spot ticket) and had not been enforced against consenting adults since the mid 19th century.
Still...I have to be more careful before I mock Muslims.