Gomaa on course for wasel record

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Last updated on August 10th, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Ali Gomaa, Egypt’s Super Grand Mega Mufti to the Maxx, has issued a fatwa on statues:

Intellectuals and artists argue that the decree represents a setback for art—a mainstay of the multi-billion-dollar tourist industry—and would deal a blow to the country’s fledgling sculpture business …

“We don’t rule out that someone will enter the Karnak temple in Luxor or any other pharaonic temple and blow it up on the basis of the fatwa,” Gamal al-Ghitani, editor of the literary Akhbar al-Adab magazine, told AFP.

That’d be just fine by Mufti Gomaa, who really has it in for sculptors, sculpting, and sculptures:

Gomaa had pointed to a passage from the hadith that stated: ”Sculptors would be tormented most on Judgment Day,” saying the text left no doubt that sculpting was “sinful” and using statues for decorating homes forbidden.

Pro-sculpturists reject the controversial Gomaa decree:

Novelist Ezzat al-Qamhawi said Gomaa’s ruling would “return Muslims to the dark ages.”

The notion sounds “ridiculous,” Yussef Zidan, director of the manuscript museum at the prestigious Bibliotheca Alexandrina, told AFP.

Ghitani added: “It’s time for those placing impediments between Islam and innovation to get out of our lives.”

A statue fatwa may only be the beginning for Mufti Gomaa, who seems bent on defeating the fatwa record of his predecessor, the notoriously fatwa-prone Mufti Wasel:

Wasel stirred a controversy in July 2001 for issuing a fatwa against a popular television show, the Arab version of “Who wants to be a millionaire?” that was airing on Egyptian television, saying it was forbidden by Islam …

Wasel slapped a fatwa on watching solar eclipses and another on bullfights, but refused to support rights activists in their campaign to outlaw female genital mutilation.

Fair enough. No sense issuing fatwas over just anything.

Posted by Tim B. on 04/04/2006 at 02:22 AM
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