Turkey has an official directorate in charge of interpreting Islamic law, popularly known as the Diyanet. It has a website where people ask questions about various aspects of Islamic law. The website recently stirred up controversy by issuing a fatwa, or religious ruling, which asserted that fathers having lustful feelings toward their own daughters are not necessarily violating religious law, provided the girl is over nine years of age.
The Diyanet now says this ruling was a “misinterpretation,” and the officials responsible have been fired.
Al-Monitor translates the question that stirred up this controversy as, “Would my marriage be void if I lust for my own daughter?”
An unidentified ulama, or Islamic scholar, replied that it was not an open-and-shut case. “There is a difference of opinion on the matter among Islam’s different schools of thought,” he asserted. “For some, a father kissing his daughter with lust or caressing her with desire has no effect on the man’s marriage.”
Al-Monitor writes that after “elaborating in graphic and disturbing detail about girls’ attire,” the ulama suggested, “The girl should be over nine years of age.” For good measure, he wrapped things up with an “explanation about differences in sexual arousal between males and females.”
Al-Monitor hastens to point out that incest is prohibited in the Koran, and under Turkish law.
Evidently someone at the Diyanet quickly realized this hideous incest fatwa was going to cause trouble, because it was yanked off their website, but not before Turkish news organizations and social-media users got screen captures of it.