Egypt's Muslims are growing weary of the number of specific religious edicts ("fatwas") issued by the country's clerics, including two recent, highly controversial ones, according to a June New York Times dispatch from Cairo. Ezzat Atiya, a lecturer at the prestigious al-Azhar Islamic University, had declared that men can be permitted to see unrelated women without their head scarves (which is ordinarily prohibited) by the symbolic act of the woman's breastfeeding the man five times, which in theory places the woman on similar footing to the man's mother. A second challenging fatwa declared that drinking the urine of the Prophet Muhammad would be holy. (Atiya has been suspended.)
In May, one of the world's Christian "dental healers," the interdenominational Rev. Steve Jones, set up his latest revival tent, near Bradenton, Fla., and began not only allegedly curing toothaches but growing teeth and turning amalgam fillings into gold, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. The reporter described a parade of witnesses claiming to have been healed and to have seen their crooked teeth straightened. Laying his hand on the jaw of one local resident, Jones assured the crowd, "You can see gold coming (into the filling)."
Sandy Sabloff had been scheduled to receive a kidney from Australian Ashwyn Falkingham in April, at Toronto (Ontario) General Hospital, but the hospital canceled it at the last minute, apparently acceding to pressure from Falkingham's mother, who said her son had been brainwashed by a "cult" called Jesus Christians, which she said is obsessed with donating kidneys as a test of spiritual devotion. (Ashwyn Falkingham said he remained eager to donate.)