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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Islamic scholars says surrogacy is prohibited
Bin Laden daughter-in-law wants surrogate baby
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Zeina with Omar bin Laden (Exclusive)
Jane Felix-Browne, the wife of Osama bin Laden's son Omar, said that she and her husband are planning to have a child with the help of a surrogate mother. "I want a part of him with me, and I don't care if the surrogate mother is Muslim or Christian," said Felix-Browne, who also goes by the name Zeina.Zeina, a British citizen of Kuwaiti origin, told from her home in Cairo that she and Omar are not looking for another wife for the Saudi businessman; She just needs a woman who can carry her already fertilized egg to term.
According to Zeina, she is still fertile, but cannot get pregnant for health reasons: "I am 52, but I am still fertile. My mom stayed fertile till she was 60, and this is very common in the U.K." The Islamic Research Center in Cairo and the Islamic Jurisprudence Academy in Mecca issued a fatwa that surrogacy—whether paid or not—is anti-Islamic.But Zeina begs to differ: "Omar will not touch any other woman. His sperm and my ovum will be fertilized in vitro then will be placed in the other woman's uterus."According to Syrian doctor Mahmoud Al-Erian, in cases of surrogacy, the child will not be genetically related to the surrogate mother, who acts as "just a carrier.""There is always the controversy of whether the mother is the one who gave the ovum or the one who carried the embryo," said Al-Erian, who is also a human rights activist.
The Islamic prohibition fatwa was based on many reasons. First, this type of fertilization requires exposing the woman's private parts which is not permitted except in emergencies. If this is an emergency for the owner of the ovum, it is not for the surrogate mother since she is not badly in need of motherhood, according to the religious ruling.Second, it is not acceptable that a woman carries another woman's baby, in light of the danger that could befall her. If she is married, there is the possibility of confusing blood ties. If she's not married, she could be subject to slander.Islamic scholars also said that it is unfair for a woman to go through the pain of pregnancy and labor for a baby that is not hers. Omar and Zeina were married a year ago after they met at the pyramids while on vacation in the Egyptian capital Cairo. Omar, 27, is already married to his first wife, while Zeina has been married and divorced four times before.Zeina always says that the son of the al-Qaeda leader wants world peace.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).

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