Islam bans cloning: Palestinian fatwa council

AFP, Dec. 30, 2002

The highest Muslim authority in the Palestinian territories, the Fatwa Council, has said that human cloning was “absolutely banned” amid the unconfirmed claim by a sect it had cloned a human being.

“The cloning of human beings is absolutely banned (according to Islam). The cloning of animals or plants could be accepted, but limited to the benefits it represents for humanity,” the council said in a statement carried by the official WAFA news agency on Saturday.

“Such experiments can cause deformities with serious consequences,” it warned.

On Friday, a cult known as the Raelian movement, which believes that human beings were originally created by extra-terrestrials and sees cloning as a route to immortality, claimed in the United States it had created the first-ever carbon-copy of a human.

The claim has yet to be confirmed by independent experts.

Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, has said unequivocally that human cloning is prohibited. However other Muslim clerics have grappled with the moral and spiritual dilemmas it poses.

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