memri

December 15, 2017
Clip No.
6362

Former Egyptian Minister of Culture Gaber Asfour Calls to Forbid Pregnancies for People with More than Three Children

Gaber Asfour, former Egyptian Minister of Culture, said that the government needs to implement a family planning policy to prevent the rapid population growth in a country with more than two million. "I want a decision to stop pregnancies of people with more than three children," he said. Asfour, who was speaking on the Egyptian Sada Al-Balad TV channel on December 15, called for reform in the religious discourse and said: "When the national interests of your country require you to put an end to the population explosion, you just do it. Otherwise, you are violating the shari'a."

Gaber Asfour: "We must give absolute priority to... The importance of the armed forces goes without saying, but education and culture should be a top priority as well. We must have schools in proportion to the Egyptian population. We are in danger. There are 100 million Egyptians now, and we grow by over two million every year. Yet our government has not decided to implement a family planning policy.

[...]

"I want a decision to stop pregnancies of people with more than three children."

Host: "What do you mean?"

Gaber Asfour: "A decision forbidding pregnancies."

Host: "And the religious institution will allow it?"

Gaber Asfour: "It will, and then some! They might quote the hadith: 'Marry and beget children for I will be proud of you before the nations on the Day of Resurrection.' However, this hadith was relevant when the Muslims were a persecuted minority. Today, there are billions of Muslims.

[...]

"I would like there to be reform in religious discourse in the style of Muhammad Abduh."

Host: "What do you mean?"

Gaber Asfour: "We should use reason to the full extent permitted by Islam. We should use reason to interpret religious texts in a way that serves the interests of our nation. The shari'a is in keeping with the interests of the nation. When the national interests of your country require you to put an end to the population explosion, you just do it. Otherwise, you are violating the shari'a."