Rethinking the call to kill Mickey Mouse
Saudi’s King Abdullah has said that several individuals have to be stopped from issuing “chaotic and whimsical fatwas.” So, is Mickey Mouse safe?
January 19, 2009 12:32 by Aarti Nagraj
From killing Mickey Mouse to harming Israelis worldwide, Muslim clerics have issued several controversial fatwas (rulings) in the past year alone. However, that could soon change.
Saudi’s King Abdullah has now said that there is a need to protect Muslim societies from chaotic and whimsical fatwas.
“Issuing ill-considered fatwas without following any criterion offers biased, ignorant, extremist or careless individuals the opportunity to pose as religious experts qualified to issue fatwas. On the other hand, they have been abusing Islam and distorting its noble values, besides offering its enemies the justification for attacking the Holy Quran and spreading lies about the Holy Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him),” the king said during an ongoing conference on fatwa regulations in Makkah.
Participants at the conference agreed that issuing correct fatwas was an Islamic duty on scholars and that fatwas should keep pace with changes in all walks of life, reports Arab News.
And it looks like the kingdom is starting to take steps in that direction. Saudi authorities arrested Sheikh Awadh Al-Qarni, a cleric, after he issued a fatwa permitting the harming of Israeli targets worldwide in December 2008. The cleric urged Muslims to strike anything that has a link to Israel, calling it a legitimate target for Muslims everywhere.
In the past, however clerics who issued controversial fatwas were not issues. An example of this is a fatwa made March last year by Sheikh al-Barrak against two Saudi writers he called “infidels.” In an article in the Al-Riyadh newspaper, Yousef Aba Al-Khail and Abdullah bin Bejad had questioned the Sunni Muslim view that followers of other faiths should be considered unbelievers.
“Anyone who claims this has refuted Islam, and should be tried so that he can take it back. If not, he should be killed as an apostate from the religion of Islam,” Sheikh al-Barrak said. “It is disgraceful that articles containing this kind of apostasy should be published in … the land of the two holy shrines [in Mecca and Medina].”