The credibility of fatwas, the religious rulings that guide daily life for Muslims, is being strained in Egypt, the New York Times reports. A flap ensued recently when one authority ruled in favor of drinking the Prophet Mohammed’s urine and another approved co-ed workplaces if the women breast-fed male colleagues to make them "family."
“These two fatwas are harming our Islamic religion” more than last year’s infamous Danish cartoons, said a prominent Egyptian professor. Fatwa-giving, a role the Times calls a combination of “social worker, therapist, lawyer and religious adviser,” has mushroomed as websites and television shows weigh in with advice. Ironically, it was authorized sources who issued the recent embarrassments.