Face of the day

 Saudi Arabia cat ban
Tizian, a Persian cat, receives a brushing at a cat competition, Berlin, November 2, 2012. A Saudi cleric has said that photographs with cats are forbidden under the Gulf Kingdom’s brand of Islamic law.SEAN GALLUP/GETTY IMAGES

A prominent Saudi cleric has declared photographs with today’s face of the day and other cats and animals are forbidden unless completely necessary due to an upsurge in Saudis “who want to be like Westerners.” I checked that the story is not a hoax due to it being so ridiculous but unfortunately it is true.

www.independent.co.uk564 × 423Search by image Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan says taking pictures is prohibited (MEMRI)

www.independent.co.uk564 × 423Search by image
Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan says taking pictures is prohibited (MEMRI)

On a televised broadcast, Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, was told about “a new trend of taking pictures with cats has been spreading among people who want to be like Westerners.”

He replied: “What?! What do you mean pictures with cats? Taking pictures is prohibited. The cats don’t matter here.”

The sheikh continued: “Taking pictures is prohibited if not for a necessity. Not with cats, not with dogs, not with wolves, not with anything.”

Footage of the televised broadcast was published on YouTube on April 17 and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute monitoring group.

Under the country’s strict, ultraconservative brand of Islam, known as Wahhabism, many things that are normal in Western daily life are outlawed. In January, Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti allegedly ruled that chess is forbidden in the kingdom as it encourages gambling. Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh said that chess was “a waste of time and money and a cause for hatred and enmity between players.”

Another game to be banned in the country is the Pokemon franchise, with the grand mufti saying that it promoted other religions, such as Christianity or Judaism because of the crosses or the Jewish Star of David that were displayed on the cards.







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  • Gollum

    At least the shiek is not as radical as our own all knowing Gareth

    • Zjivila Whyte

      Oh will somebody please export the feline-phobic Gareth!

  • oldmanNZ

    so how long will they start running out of things to be banned to be not like westerners?
    why not ban TV, MaDonalds, hamburgers, airplanes, cars, music, ect

    they can make there own life miserable, as long as they dont impose their laws onto ours…or is that too late.

    • Gazza

      Spent quite a bit of time in Yemen, crazy place, but they have KFC and Pizza Hutt, illegal Night Clubs where they serve alcohol, the guys dance together then clear the dance floor and the girls come out of a back room and have a dance (all in western gear) surrounded by security then go out to the back room after a couple of songs…..its a nation of hypocrisy

      • kereru

        The Saudis, paragons of virtue themselves, have honed hypocrisy into a fine art – and top the list of hypocrites. And that’s quite an achievement in the Islamic world. I quote:

        ‘Not a single non-Muslim worship building is allowed there; the highest Islamic authority decreed that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.” Whenever Christians are suspected of meeting in a house for worship—or as one Saudi official once complained, “plotting to celebrate Christmas”—they are arrested and punished.

        Any cross or other non-Muslim symbol found is confiscated and destroyed. Anyone caught trying to smuggle Bibles or any other “publications that have prejudice to any other religious belief other than Islam” can be executed.’


        • rexabus

          I would never have believed a religion could inspire so much hate. In my adult life maybe only pedophiles and gangs have come close to making me as angry as this stupid stupid belief nd it’s followers do

          • kereru

            Islam is not a pure ‘religion’, despite the outward show of piety. It’s a repressive, all-encompassing totalitarian political ideology first and foremost – religious observance is just the means of control and fear, otherwise it would not be compulsory. Its book is a counterfeit of conflicting and plagiarised writings from other beliefs and writings including, and especially, paganism.

          • JohnO

            Islam has spiritual power and is a true religion that worships a false God. The nature of the God can be observed by the fruits of Islam shown in its believers…Hypocrisy, cruel, vicious, domineering, greedy, lazy and violent, hatred and demeaning of women and outsiders, exploitative, sexually perverse, liars to mention a few.

          • kereru

            You’re right, but I think people imagine that Islam is the culmination of Judaism and Christianity, and equally valid, because Islam claims to be Abrahamic in origin – forgetting that the sons of Esau deserted the God of Abraham and embraced paganism for thousands of years.

            Yes Arabs are descended from Abraham but seldom is it noted that Abraham had two sons, one by his wife’s Egyptian maidservant Hagar (the line of *Ishmael and Esau) who were given the lands of Arabia as their inheritance), and his legitimate son by Sarah (the line of Isaac and Jacob) who were to inherit the land Canaan and through whom Jesus the Messiah would arise. Perhaps if Abraham had waited for God to fulfil His promise of a son instead of trying to do things his way, none of this conflict between Arab and Jew and Islam and the rest of the world, would exist today.

            Yes, Arabs can claim they are connected with Abraham but Islam most emphatically can not – hence the disparity between the attributes of the God of the Bible and Allah, and the resulting diametrically opposite teachings of the Bible and the Qur’an.

            *Prophecy about Ishmael (Genesis 16:12)
            “He will be a wild donkey of a man. His hand will be against everyone. And everyone’s hand will be against him. And he will live to the east of all his brothers.”

          • JohnO

            It is observable that the non-arabic Islamists (non semitic) seem to be less aggressive than the ones descended from Abraham… the Indonesians Muslims spring to mind. I suspect all Muslims, if they take Islam seriously enough, will be vicious and violent towards out-groups, women and Jews.

          • kereru

            Aceh is the exception, of course.

            ‘All visitors to Aceh should be aware that sharia law is now in force, and is strictly applied to all persons in the province, including tourists. Religious police and taser-wielding locals have shut down at least one event at a guesthouse, and on multiple occasions conducted guesthouse raids looking for unmarried couples sharing rooms. There have also been instances of mob violence on the pretext of enforcing sharia
            law, which the police have turned a blind eye to. If you do visit Aceh, be sure to strictly refrain from any activity which could have even the smallest possibility of breaking sharia law.’

            Edit: formatting

          • Zjivila Whyte

            Well said Kereru & JohnO

        • spanishbride

          They must be pretty insecure about how great their religion is if they feel the need to have no freedom of religion in their country. No contest of ideas allowed.

          Isn’t it funny how different sects of Islam demand freedom of religion here but many of them deny it to others in their own countries? It is another thing about Islam that is so different to other religions. In Pakistan ( an Islamic country ) they even suppress/oppress other sects of Islam like the Ahmadiyya.

          I know of no Christian country that has prevented other religions from following their faith. Israel has freedom of religion even though they are a Jewish country that is attacked on a weekly basis by Muslim terrorists.

          • biscuit barrel

            Nearly half of Jewish Israelis want to expel Arabs, survey shows
            The Israel you describe is just a memory from its left leaning early days. They are becoming more like the arab countries they hate.
            The dati’im had the highest numbers in favour of expulsion (71%) and secular jews were mostly against

          • kereru

            Why do you think the attitude of the Israelis has changed?
            After all, they still treat all in need in their world class hospitals, they have Arab MPs in the Knesset, and Arab citizens who support Israel and choose to live there.

            Secretly, the surrounding Arab states prefer to let Israel bear the brunt of their exclusionary policies to save them from having to deal with the Palestinians. Behind closed doors they support Israel taking the limelight off their own social and political problems. To them the Palestinian Arabs are just an irritant which serves their utimate purpose of wiping Israel off the map and feeds their propaganda machine.

            If that was happening in NZ, would you be glad to see the back of the perpetrators, or would you be happy to commit national suicide?

          • spanishbride

            The tiny difference ( sarcasm ) being that the Arab countries don’t have to deal with Jewish terrorists or Jewish countries trying to wipe them off the map for the crime of being Muslim and wanting their own Muslim countries.They have their anti-Jew policies because of Muslim supremacy not for self preservation.

          • kereru

            You’ve nailed it, SB. Only deep insecurity causes human beings to behave like this. The inexplicable love affair between the Saudi monarchy and the British aristocracy, including the Royal family, gives me the shivers.

        • Gazza

          Don’t get started on the Saudis……many a night spent in Dubai, they come across the boarder (as they do in Yemen) and party hard with the Russian girls then go back to Saudi for a rest

          • kereru

            When our eldest son was in Cairo after spending 3 months in Eritrea, he said the downtown bars and fleshpots were overflowing with Saudi sheikhs livng it up. Their duplicity knows no bounds. Without oil revenue they’d still be picking dates.

  • shykiwibloke

    So no pictures of Turkish men with their goats. Boris will be idsappointed

  • Korau

    More silly ideas than you can sheikh a stick at. Comes from wearing a tea towel on you head!

  • Valid Point

    Maybe he reads the Herald online and is terrified by the content? The Kardashian headline another journalistic highlight this morning. Hardly a ringing endorsement of Western values.

  • intelligentes candida diva

    The cats will fight back
    They know the skill of Islamic Taqiyya deception

    • Effluent

      The sheik is rprted as saying “What?! What do you mean pictures with cats? Taking pictures is prohibited. The cats don’t matter here.”

      More likely, if they could speak, the cats would say “What? Do you mean pictures of the Sheik? Stupidity is prohibited. Islam does not matter here”

      • kereru

        An excellent rebuttal!! Except that pictures of cats are usually very cute – pictures of sheikhs, er, not so much.

  • Zjivila Whyte

    Puuuuuuuurfect article. :)

  • Nermal

    Why do fundamentalists always have to be such fun police? They’re not happy until they’ve taken their morning misery pills.

    • kereru

      Fundamentalists of a belief system that teaches freedom, comfort, hope and joy aren’t miserable at all. Fundamentalists of one particularly large following certainly are. Many do not subscribe to the fundamentals of this ideology, but have to toe the line if they want to stay alive.