Because, you see, by calling to mind the bond between mother and child, the act of suckling desexualizes the relationship.
The jokes about other “desexualizing” practices are all too obvious and smutty and simply aren’t worth the phony shock they’d draw from our nutroots readers, but you’ll be happy to know (or sad if you’re a Sunni male) that the fatwa has since been rescinded — sort of. CJ quotes this part but doesn’t emphasize it:
In his retraction, Attia said the fatwa had been a result of his personal analysis of Islamic texts and was in fact “a bad interpretation of a particular case” during the time of Prophet Mohammed. According to Mabruk Attia, a professor of theology at Al Azhar, the Prophet had advised a woman to nurse her adult adopted son, to become his wet nurse, following an Islamic ban on adoption. The woman gave the man her milk from a bowl, and not directly from her breast, Mabruk Attia said.
Sounds like the rule still stands and all they’ve really retracted is the method.
Worth noting: the fatwa didn’t come from some cult leader or fringe kook. It came from the president of the Hadith department al Al-Azhar University, one of the world’s most prestigious institutions of Sunni scholarship. It’d be like if the head of the theology department at Harvard Divinity School decided the Bible commands all Christian women to go topless. Tight ship they’re running over there. Confidence-inspiring!