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'Islam bans cloning'

Following the Raelian sect's claim that it has created the first human clone, the Palestinian Fatwa Council said that according to Islam cloning humans was "absolutely banned".

india Updated: Jan 10, 2003 18:03 IST

The highest Muslim authority in the Palestinian territories, the Fatwa Council, has said that human cloning was "absolutely banned" amid the unconfirmed claim by the Raelian sect that 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 Sunday.

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

Following the Raelian movement's claims that it has created the first-ever carbon-copy of a human 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.