Top PA cleric issues swine flu marriage 'fatwa'

Tamimi bans Islamic courts from issuing marriage licenses unless couple proves they're H1N1-free.

taysir tamimi 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
taysir tamimi 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority Chief Justice Sheikh Tayir Tamimi made an Islamic ruling ordering that marriage contracts can only be issued after the couple has proved that they are not infected with the swine flu virus, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported Tuesday. According to the DPA report, Tamimi issued a 'fatwa,' determining that religious courts must not conclude matrimonial proceedings unless the couple has produced a Health Ministry document. He was quoted as saying that the ruling would stop the spread of the H1N1 virus in the West Bank, where there have been over 60 reported cases. Last week, meanwhile, children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic diseases were urged by international experts to stay away from the hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia this year as a preventative measure due to the virus. The recommendations followed a four-day meeting in Jiddah aimed at examining measures to prevent to spread of the virus during the Muslim pilgrimage in December. The workshop, which included experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, was meant to allay fears of a wide-scale transmission of the disease during hajj. In Israel on Tuesday, five participants at a Scouts summer camp were sent home after being diagnosed with swine flu. The five were listed in light condition and the Scouts camp in the Beit Shemesh area was continuing as normal. So far, 727 people have been diagnosed with the virus in Israel. AP contributed to this report