Creating new perspectives since 2009

Egypt using fatwas to limit population growth

July 11, 2018 at 1:13 pm

Egyptian newborn babies can be seen in incubators at a hospital in Cairo, Egypt, 27 February 2018 [Mohammed Bendari/Apaimages]

The Egyptian government has resorted to Islamic edicts to curb the country’s high population growth rates, a German report has said.

Germany’s Deutschlandfunk Radio reported that the fatwa – or Islamic legal opinion – in Egypt has become an important means of combating population growth, adding that the Egyptian Edict House has allowed the use of contraceptives in spite of the fact that Al-Azhar scholars oppose it.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has often warned of the danger of population growth and described it as one of the country’s biggest problems, just like terrorism.

Early marriage in rural areas hinders family planning programmes, the German report said.

READ: Egypt birth rate down 62% in 3 years 

Under Egyptian law, young men are only allowed to marry at the age of 18, but in rural areas imams consider adulthood to be marked only by puberty; allowing minors to marry.

The Egyptian authorities have started a campaign in eight governorates under the slogan “Two Children are enough” to raise awareness of the importance of family planning and not having many children.

If the current birth rates continue, there will be 120 million Egyptians in 2030, the government hopes to reduce this number to 110 million.