How Satellite TV Got A Fatwa

…like all great fatwas, it started with a phone call…

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – Saudi Arabia’s top judiciary official has issued a religious decree saying it is permissible to kill the owners of satellite TV networks that broadcast immoral content.

The 79-year-old Sheik Saleh al-Lihedan said Thursday that satellite channels cause the “deviance of thousands of people.”

…Al-Lihedan was answering listeners’ questions during the daily “Light in the Path” radio program in which he and others make rulings on what is permissible under Islamic law. [source] via [Sunni Sister]

So I guess we can add satellite TV to the long list of things that have been made haram in recent years, including pokemon, unclothed sex, the polio vaccine, and birthdays.

I will say this much, when we’ve gotten to a point in our history when fatwas are declared over a radio phone-in show, then everyone really needs to go sit in the corner and take a time-out. But I guess radio is halal.

Sometimes I thank the Lord Almighty that there’s no central authority-figure in Islam.

We’d be in much bigger trouble.


  • You missed the most astonishing of all, the breast feeding of male coworkers fatwa of Azhar. The institution is in dire need of reform my friend.

  • WHAT THE F***!!!

    you see, as much as I intended to complete this holy month by restraining my tongue and refraining from uttering bad words, especially the F*** word, this so called sheikh just made me lose it!
    And you know what?? since it’s his fault, I hereby declare the following FATWA…yeah, i get to make a fatwa too; ma 7ada a7san min 7ada:
    It is permissible for y’all, whether fasting or not, to utter the F*** word while being shocked out of your brains reading such stupidity!

    ughhh… such a disgrace, jad!

  • Like every other field where people offer opinions, there are always stupid ones. Heck, I think it’s equally easy to find Bush stupid statements as finding stupid fatwas.

    Given that your blog makes fun of highly respected Muslim scholars thus disrespecting the religion of Almighty himself, I declare “Black Iris of Jordan” blog as Haram. Haram to write, read or link to it (of course except for those who do so to discredit it).

    Here you go Naseem, your own custom-tailored Fatwa 🙂

  • Oh yeah! I loved the breastfeeding Fatwa from Azhar. It was hilarious and so ridiculous. I lived in Egypt at that time and it was all the talk of the town. Crazy.


  • It is things like this, among other things, that has West so scared of Muslim Theocracies.

    Is he really staying that if Playboy TV is beamed into a Muslim country that it is OK to kill Hugh Heifer?

  • i’m not so sure.. but the sheikh were asked about the TV channels that broadcast black magic and voodoo stuff. In Islam anyone practice this things considered to be “Kafir” because all the evil he create..

  • @Austin:

    A fatwa is not automatically a death sentence. The Salman Rushdie fatwa != every fatwa.

    Whatever my opinion on Muslim theocracies, it is also the misinformation in Western media that has the West so scared of these theocracies. There are questionable decisions and downright stupidity on both sides, and we in the West shouldn’t accept without critical thinking what the media report.

  • Muhammad, Clearly you do not watch the Daily Show. If you did, you would know that it is, in fact, easier to find stupid statements by George Bush. But, at least he isn’t a religious leader…

    This seems to be an interesting trend these days. It seems fatwas are issue at the drop of a hat (or maybe against the drop of a hat?). In the past, did they tend to be less common and over more serious matters?

  • So I guess we can add satellite TV to the long list of things that have been made haram in recent years, including pokemon, unclothed sex, the polio vaccine, and birthdays.

    Well he didn’t really say that “satellite TV is haram,” nor did he say that “the owners of satellite TVs can be killed.”

    At least, he didn’t make it that simple or easy.

  • Ummm

    I dont think that what you said is accurate at all.

    First, i would like to refer you to Aljzaeera Article where the Judge explains how he was misquoted:

    First, nobody said, wether in the statement that was misunderstood or in his corrected version that satelite TVs are haram.

    Second, of course fatwas can be given on air on the radio, if you spent like the last 50 years of your life being a scholar and being asked tenths and hundreds of questions a day for which you give fatwa instantly, then why not give it on air? whats the problem with that y3ni?


    what he said is the following: he adviced the owners of satelite tv channels that prodcast si7ir (some people claim they have relation with spirits and Jinnies and dictate to living people what they should do and what should not and tell them the future, which is a major sin in islam) and morally corrupted content, adviced them to think of God and preached them about the bad effect of these channels and all that content and went on explaining how it has a bad effect on people and their faith and he said that this has to stop even if by killing the owners of channels that commit to continue to brodcast that material.

    He then said (Refer to the link i put above) that a judge doesnt take his sword and run to people to kill them. any case has to go through presecution parties to the public prosecutor who presents the case to the judge who examines the case and decides if the defender deserves such a severe panelty, and then the sentence of the judge goes though a higher committie to revise it and if approved then it goes yet again to higher step in the court system.

    see how different it suddenly looks?

    as you know naseem, even if a death sentence was issued against a person, then nobody, in islam, is allowed to execute that sentence except the ruler or someone authorized by him. there is no such thing as “its permissable to kill them”. there is no such a thing as a public invitation to kill someone sentenced with death by a judge.

    there is whole lot of spin in the media.

    ramadan kareem.

    oh wait, as for the other fatwas you mentioned, i think they should invent public invitation to kill them:D

  • I’ve read a lot of the comments, and scanned through the rest: I read the following statements (Not necesserily the exact quote, but you know!! same meaning).

    1) George Bush is not religious! (MommaBean). It is one of our biggest misconceptions about America that it is not a religious country! Among the 1st world countries, the US has probably the biggest number and percentage of church goers, and those who believe in the return of Christ provided all Jews are back in Palestine. I remember George Bush was the one who declared it to be a crusade!

    2) Khalid Jarrar’s long comment! Probably this is the only one who decided to go deeper into the story, and do something different from what the Media usually does!! Mis-quote people, and put words in their mouths.

    If my piaster is still working…

    Apparently we, arabs, went along with the new fashion the US Government (Not the people) came up with! This new fashion that categorizes Arabs based on the side they take from this Oil-driven wars the US is waging!.. Moderate, Extremist!!!

    Apparently, denouncing all Sheikhs became a fashion “Open Minded” & Liberal arabs are so keen on!

    There is no doubt that if the guy said go kill those channel owners, then he is wrong!! But did he really say so?! Another question for all of us who are against “Live-Fatwas on radio”, based on your vast knowledge of Islam, what is the fatwa regarding magicians and those who claim the knowledge of the future?!?! Are we ready now to discredit our religious sources? (Quran, Sunnah, etc)?

    Definitely there is a time and place for the application of these fatwas! Certain things need to be taken care of first, like educating people, before applying some rules. Not because they are obsolete, but because people are ignorant again.

    Still, what do you expect the guy to say when he is asked a direct question about magicians and liars? You want him to sugar-coat it and say it’s NOT CUTE!! o 3N JAD KTEER?. If he did, it will become a fish market worse than the one you are despising now! It will become a fashion, and one MODERATE-Sheikh will come out and say DANA DANDAN is a role model, and righteous woman whom must be followed by all muslim girls!!

    All around the world, Catholic church has been stripped off of its spiritual stance. Why? because religion became so Casual!! Be nice and go to heaven, and of course it depends on you & your own parameters to define what is NICE & what is NOT!!

    Jimi Hendrix is considered a legend!! The guy died choking on his own vomet because of an overdose!!.. See, this is what happens when you make it so casual!

  • salam nas, bro you know better than to blindly quote a western source beating on muslims… you’re only propagating their propaganda in doing so…always check their story, they’re not exactly fond of us you know 🙂 …abood

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