A "Muslim" cleric from Morocco has raised eyebrows after suggesting that extramarital sex leads to uterine cancer.
According to Sekkach, women should abstain from having sex out of wedlock because it "causes uterus cancers".
The cleric alleged that when a woman has sexual intercourse with her husband for the first time, the "code" of his sperm is imprinted in her vagina.
Therefore, women should avoid having extramarital intercourse because this "code" would no longer be recognized, leading to uterine cancer, according to Sekkach.
To support his claim, the cleric cited an "extraordinary discovery" by "Western scientists", without giving any details to confirm the source of his information.
The "discovery" allegedly revealed that the uterus needs 4 months and 10 days to erase the supposed "sperm code".
The same period corresponds with the "mourning" period - known as the idda in Islam - which Muslim women who get divorced or widowed should observe before marrying a new spouse.
"What Western scientists have just discovered, the Prophet already knew 14 centuries ago. He knew that the uterus needed these 4 months and 10 days to change the sperm code. How did he [know], if it is not the divine miracle?" the cleric is quoted as saying.
According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, "having multiple sexual partners is one of the risk factors of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection which is a major cause of cervical cancer".
This is solely because the virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, increasing the risks of infection.
"Is it normal that Morocco of the 21st century still allows this kind of idiocy?" asks sociologist Soumaya Naamane Guessous
Guessous, who said she has spent around 30 years researching Islamic studies and consulting prominent Islamic scholars, refuted the cleric's statements and described them as "absurd" and a "kind of idiocy".
According to Guessous, the idda was introduced for the sole purpose of giving the woman time to determine whether she is pregnant or not, in order to confirm the lineage of the baby.
"Is it normal that Morocco of the 21st century, which has great ambitions to modernize, educate its population and fight religious obscurantism, still allows this kind of idiocy?" she asked.
"Is it acceptable for radio station managers to give the antenna to such ignorant people [and allow them] to inform and guide our people?"
She went on to say that such broadcasts "are an insult to the intelligence of Moroccans and their dignity", noting the gravity of their negative impact since they have on a wide audience.
She then suggested that religious programs only host educated scholars with Ph.D. degrees, asking the state to control their speeches.
Morocco's audiovisual communication authority responds
Morocco's High Authority of Audiovisual Communication (HACA) has since responded to the uproar and issued a press release criticizing both Sekkach and Chada FM.
The press release says that the radio station has violated the audiovisual communication law, which states that freedom of speech must be "applied with respect and human dignity".
The law also dictates that "audiovisual communication operators must promote a culture of gender equality and combat all forms of discrimination, especially those that degrade the image of the woman".