Wed, 07 Nov 2007
Riyadh - Saudi theologians called for a ban on baby gender selection after a heated debate with doctors and described the technology as "a crime against humanity."Members of the theological assembly decided during a four-hour meeting that selecting the gender of a baby was unethical and could cause genetic damage.
The assembly rejected views by other Muslim religious scholars that allowed people to use gender selection methods to determine the sex of their babies.
The theological assembly with members from all over the Islamic world is part of the World Muslim League funded by Saudi Arabia.
The league is often accused of being a propaganda arm of the Kingdom's strict puritanical Wahhabi Islamic ideology.
Sheikh Saad al-Shathri, a member of the Saudi Muslim Theologians Association, said in a statement published by local newspapers on Wednesday some international human right groups backed by an anti-religious media would hurry to defend baby gender selection supported by favourable views expressed by some Islamic scholars.
Despite the overwhelming opposition, some doctors at the meeting defended the technology.
The cell, determining the gender of a baby and selected after a process of embryo screening, does not cause any damage to the genes," Dr Abdallah Basalama said.
The procedure is done by experts who know what they are doing, Basalama said.
But another theologian perceived the method as an interference with God's will.