Something pleasantly strange happened in the deserts of Saudi Arabia:
Snow in Saudi :-) pic.twitter.com/BpLwg2ljgl— Arnoud van Doorn (@ArnoudvDoorn) January 12, 2015
What followed was not so unexpected unfortunately:
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Surprised by the rare gift of nature and making full use of their imagination to build snowmen, camels and ‘properly’ attired human figures, these people were stopped by yet another religious decree, which deemed their few moments of joy as haram or “religiously unacceptable.”
According to the fatwa issued by senior cleric Mohammad Saleh Al Minjed, building snowmen or any replica of an animal, even if it is for fun or recreation, could not be condoned.
"God has given people space to make whatever they want which does not have a soul, including trees, ships, fruits, buildings and so on," he wrote in his ruling.
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What's scarier than a religious edict issued by a radical cleric are the people who support it. Amongst the tweets against the edict there were a few supporting the decree as well.
"It (building snowmen) is imitating the infidels, it promotes lustiness and eroticism," one wrote.
"May God preserve the scholars, for they enjoy sharp vision and recognize matters that even Satan does not think about," went another.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise in a country where there is a fatwa or a religious edict against almost everything under the sun from women visiting libraries to men and women interacting in public. In a country where a man got 50 lashes in a public square for speaking his mind, titling snowmen as prohibited in Islam is just another addition in a row of edicts.
May be they are just tired of hearing this song:
But it is a sad situation. No religion prohibits its people a source of innocent joy.
But apparently, its interpreters, the "religious police" do.
It is just as well that the Saudi government has indicated signs of limiting the powers of the autocratically radical clergy.
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