Assertion that the U.S partner Saudi Arabia permits men to eat their wives is wrong

17 November, 2015

On November 1, 2015 during the news program "Courier P.S” on Rustavi 2,the chairmen of the Eurasian Choice - Archil Chkoidze, with the purpose of illustrating West’s adverse effect claimed that Saudi Arabia, one of the closest U.S allies - permits a husband to kill and eat his wife. Mr. Chkoidze also added that the U.S produced no reaction to this specific law in Saudi Arabia.

 

Archil Chkoidze, Eurasian Choice: "Saudi Arabia has allowed a husband to eat his wife; I would like to tell you that the United States seriously supports it and does not say a word on it, moreover the U.S. is the partner of Saudi Arabia..."
November 1, P.S. Rustavi 2

In the beginning of April, 2015 pro-Iranian media outlets (online portals Al Alam and Lebanese sites http://www.tayyar.org/) began to disseminate the similar types of information. These channels reported as if the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh issued the religious edict (Fatwa), which reportedly allows a starving husband to eat his wife or a part of her body to save his own life. According to the source, this allows a woman to display the obedience to her husband. Similar information was distributed by other media outlets as well. Such information was unverified and circulated without indicating the source. Hence, it raised a lot of questions in Arab social space and became the basis for public discussion.

The Grand Mufti denied any application of such Fatwa and provided the Arab press with official statement explaining that such information was disseminated by hostile forces: "It is also an attempt to discredit Islam as a religion that honors the people and does not discriminate between women and men," – the statement said.

Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Lebanon criticized the Lebanese television, media and impeached them for insulting Arab Emirates.

Moroccan blogger is believed as the initial source of this false information. During the interview with the Arab edition of the CNN, the editor of the Internet Agency explained that the blogger, "Israfel Moroccan” sarcastically mocks the Grand Mufti, which is known for his controversial statements. For example, Grand Mufti claimed that Twitter is the source of evil and all churches in the Middle East must be destroyed. Despite the online column carrying the name "Akhbar al-Tanz", which in Moroccan dialect means "sarcastic news”, many media outlets, including pro-Iranian ones went on to report this joke as an authentic, real fact.

Diplomatic ambiguity related to this false Fatwa was resolved in April in the Arab States. Therefore, local community realized that they were dealing with unverified information.


Prepared by Zura Tsurtsumia