Diyanet is the highest religious authority in Turkey and the final authority in interpretation of Islam. It controls the country’s 85,000 mosques.
In last week the authority issued a fatwa – an interpretation of Islamic rules – which created intense debate.
To a question from a believer, Diyanet replied that from an Islamic view it had no impact on a marriage “if a father kisses his daughter with lust.”
It was also, according to Diyanet, no sin “if the father looks at his daughter and feels lust.” The daughter must, however, “be over nine years old.”
This fatwa comes shortly after another fatwa from Diyanet, which said that engaged couples should not hold hands, because it could lead to other things, things that are haram (illegal) in Islam. In some countries it could even give grown men a reason to pick up stones and throw them at the couple until they are dead.
Put the two latest fatwas together and it gives a view of sexuality in Islam that is completely mad and disgusting seen with Western eyes.
“Regrettable error in translations”
The fatwa naturally triggered a storm of outrage online, so much that the page where the fatwa had been was removed. But it is still in circulation, as people have saved it.
Now the head of Diyanet, Mehmet Görmez, tries to fix the scandal and run away from the original fatwa. To the Turkish broadcaster TRT, he says that the dramatic interpretation was due to a regrettable error in translation from Arabic!
The new answer to the question of father and daughter lust now reads, according Diyanet, that incest is a “pathological aberration”.
There is only one problem – which everybody (at least in Turkey) knows. The religious experts at Diyanet are perfectly fluent in Arabic. They never make banal translation errors like this, ever. But of course, they had to come up with some lame excuse and this was probably the least lame they could come up with during the urgent cleric brainstorming meeting.