Ruthie Blum of Israel Hayom reports:

According to the Dubai-based, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel, two new laws are under consideration by the new Egyptian parliament. One of these would lower the age at which a girl can be married to 14. The other would permit a husband to have sexual relations with his wife’s corpse for up to six hours after she is pronounced dead.

The latter bit of proposed legislation comes a year after a cleric in Morocco brought the topic to light. Since Morocco is a very modern Muslim country, and the cleric — Zamzami Abdul Bari — is a modern kind of mullah, he determined that wives, too, can have sex with their dead husbands. His additional assertion that pregnant women are permitted to drink alcohol raised an even bigger stir.

This week, Egypt’s National Council for Women appealed to the parliament not to pass the legislation, which it sees as a setback for the benefits it had managed to garner under Mubarak’s regime. (This was largely due to Suzanne Mubarak’s attention to women’s rights, such as being able to obtain a divorce from abusive husbands.)

I feel for fiction writers these days. No one could make up such horrifyingly hysterical story lines to match the Middle East news reports.

Understand that in most Muslim countries homosexuality is a sin and punished by severe and sometimes capital punishment. So it’s okey-dokey for a Muslim man to have sex with a dead woman but heaven help him if he chooses to have sex with a live man. ( I await the 60 Minutes expose on the plight of Middle East gays — that there aren’t enough gays in the Knesset or something.)

Interestingly, in his Holocaust memorial speech, Obama did not talk about ongoing human rights atrocities against gays or women. You want a war — a repressive, wholesale effort to deny basic human dignity — on somebody (millions of somebodies), the war on women and gays of the Middle East is it. Obama only mentioned gays in the context of the Holocaust (because it was pander-to-the-Jews day). In his (in)famous Cairo speech at the onset of his term, his only plea was for more education for Muslim women (you know, between the time they are child brides and their corpses are used — why differentiate between their lives and afterlives?-- purely for their husbands’ pleasure).

So when he’s out pandering at the next NOW gathering or Human Right Campaign event, would a brave soul there ask why is it he lifts not a finger nor whispers words of condemnation for the inhumane treatment of their sisters and brothers in the “Muslim World”? I realize the Herculean achievement that is the Lilly Ledbetter Act in allowing women plaintiffs to evade the traditional statute of limitations in job-discrimination lawsuits (that is what the big whoop-dee-doo is about, folks), but it is sort of small potatoes for the Citizen of the World when women and gays are treated as chattel (or worse) in Muslim lands.

And by the by, who thinks true democracy is coming to places that hang gays, engage in honor killings and marry off little girls?