07/28/2010, 00.00
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Jakarta, wave of fatwas against transsexuals, temporary marriages, gossip and sperm bank

by Mathias Hariyadi
The ulema asked the censor not to release gory movies and the media not to transmit gossip. Seed banks condemned, but that of breast milk allowed.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - In Indonesia the MUI (Indonesian Ulemas Forum) has issued a new wave of fatwas. After the controversy over civet Coffee, the MUI yesterday declared "haram" (forbidden in the religious sense) sex changes, temporary marriages, gossip and the sperm bank. However, it remains halal, allowed, the breast milk bank.

Ni'am Sholeh, deputy secretary of the MUI fatwa Commission, said that " Intentionally made changing of sex without proper scientific reason is morally not allowed. However, we recommended medical doctors to help people to make their genital more perfect We have issued this fatwa to implement sharia. " In Indonesia, shariah is not law and the fatwa is a religious ban, not a legal one. The Indonesian Supreme Court, in fact, allows sex changes.

The ulema also came out against "temporary marriages". This contract is practiced mostly by foreigners from the Middle East in the country on business, that to have a permit to stay longer or to commit adultery, they get married for a predetermined time with an Indonesian woman. The marriage contract can last weeks, days or even hours.

"The marriage contract is haram because it is a non-permanent relationship," said MUI  chief Kiai Hajj Ma’ruf Amin. “Whenever those foreign nationals return to their native country, they just left their wives behind".

The MUI has also banned "watching, reading or just listening entertaining news reports (about celebrities) concerning their bad behaviour as individuals". In Indonesia, celebrity gossip is very common, everyday broadcasters transmit continuous updates on the lives of celebrities. "We urge the censorship office not to distribute movies that relate to these things and television media are not to broadcast such news," said Sholeh during the press conference.

Finally, a ban has been placed on the sperm bank. " To donate or selling sperms is morally unclean - Sholeh continues - It is against the Islamic law since it ignite the potential “chaotic” situation concerning the origin and identity of the newly born”.  Instead the breast milk bank is allowed, if there is agreement between the two parties: the mother of baby and the women who want to give breast milk.
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