This month is Ramadan throughout Islamic countries, a month during which Muslims celebrate the delivery of the Qu’ran to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. It is a period during which Muslims are supposed to ask for forgiveness for their sins and to seek help in refraining from “everyday evils” while purifying their souls through self-restraint (such as fasting).
Apparently, it’s also a time for some Islamic clerics and officials to license murder in the name of religion.
Saudi Arabia’s top judiciary official has issued a fatwa authorising the murder of owners of satellite TV networks that broadcast “bad programmes”.
Sheik Saleh al-Lihedan, 79, chief of the kingdom’s highest tribunal, the supreme judiciary council, said satellite channels caused the “deviance of thousands of people”.
He was answering listeners’ questions during the daily radio programme Light in the Path, in which he and other clerics make rulings on what is permissible under Islamic law. One caller asked yesterday about Islam’s view on satellite TV channels that broadcast “bad programmes” during Ramadan.
“What does the owner of these networks think, when he provides seduction, obscenity and vulgarity?” said Al-Lihedan. “Those calling for corrupt beliefs, certainly it’s permissible to kill them. Those calling for sedition, those who are able to prevent it but don’t, it is permissible to kill them.”
In Saudi Arabia, the most popular stations are owned by members of the royal family whom earlier this year had pledged to reign in some of the country’s more militant imams by launching a clerical “retraining” program to encourage moderation and tolerance.
I think it’s fair to say that’s not working to well for them, don’t you?