FP's Funny Fatwas


The intrepid reporters at Foreign Policy have compiled a list of the "World's Stupidest Fatwas." Unsurprisingly, the fatwa against Salman Rushdie merits a mention, as does the Saudi anti-Pokemon edict:

Not only do Saudi scholars believe that Pokémon encourages gambling, which is forbidden in Islam, but it is apparently a front for Israel as well. The fatwa's authors claimed that Pokémon games include, "the Star of David, which everyone knows is connected to international Zionism and is Israel's national emblem." Religious authorities in the United Arab Emirates joined in, condemning the games for promoting evolution, "a Jewish-Darwinist theory that conflicts with the truth about humans and with Islamic principles," but didn't ban them outright.

A fine list, FP, but you neglect to mention my personal favorite: Egypt's water-sports-with-the-Prophet fatwa:

An uproar in the Egyptian media followed the recent publication of a book by Egyptian Mufti Dr. Ali Gum'a in which he claimed that the companions of the Prophet Muhammad would drink his urine to be blessed.

The fatwa provoked strong objections on the part of the Egyptian religious establishment. Leading Al-Azhar and Religious Endowments Ministry officials stated that Gum'a's conclusions were mistaken even though they were based on Islamic sources. They added that his claims were inappropriate for the modern era and that they only caused embarrassment in the Egyptian street and did damage to the Prophet and to Islam.

MEMRI translates local press accounts here.