Saudi Cleric Condemns Plans To Allow Movies or Public Concerts In The Kingdom

these-are-the-damned200px-Coat_of_arms_of_Saudi_Arabia.svgThe Saudi Kingdom is back this week reminding people of the inherent extreme lunacy of theocratic legal systems.  Saudi Arabia’s top religious authority Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh has proclaimed that cinemas and singing concerts are unIslamic and morally harmful.  The Kingdom follows a medieval system of Sharia law and denies basic civil liberties to women, non-Muslims,  political dissidents, and journalists.  Cinemas and public concerts are already banned in the name of Islam in the Kingdom.

 Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh warned that cinemas or public concerts threaten the moral backbone of the country and lead to “atheistic or rotten” influence.  The announcement would seem to push back on the announcement of the head of the  General Authority for Entertainment, Amr al-Madani, that Saudi citizens might be allowed to go again to the movie and even see some public concerts, including Saudi singer Mohammed Abdo.  Abdo was rumored to be likely to perform in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.  Al al-Sheikh warned that the government would be inviting sin: “I hope those in charge of the Entertainment Authority are guided to turn it from bad to good and not to open doors to evil.” He added.”Motion pictures may broadcast shameless, immoral, atheistic or rotten films.”

As a result, the clerics seem intent on literally keeping Saudi citizens in the dark and away from influences other than their constant saturation of Islamic values in the Kingdom.

89 thoughts on “Saudi Cleric Condemns Plans To Allow Movies or Public Concerts In The Kingdom”

  1. Our leaders are able to overlook certain evils in other governments – e.g. Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, Russia, Israel.

    We are fortunate that our government doesn’t attempt to interfere with the internal affairs of Saudi Arabia.

  2. Oh, and another thing, remember this, for the basically kid movie, E.T.?

    Why in the world would anybody put that term into a movie sure to be watched by millions of 6-8 year old kids? I suspect that the answer isn’t: “Because they share the community values of their audience.”

    So while the Saudi Cleric advocates a lot stricter standard than is probably necessary, I don’t think it would hurt at all to go back to the “Code.”

    The Code enumerated a number of key points known as the “Don’ts” and “Be Carefuls”:[20]

    Resolved, That those things which are included in the following list shall not appear in pictures produced by the members of this Association, irrespective of the manner in which they are treated:

    Pointed profanity – by either title or lip – this includes the words “God,” “Lord,” “Jesus,” “Christ” (unless they be used reverently in connection with proper religious ceremonies), “hell,” “damn,” “Gawd,” and every other profane and vulgar expression however it may be spelled;
    Any licentious or suggestive nudity – in fact or in silhouette; and any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture;
    The illegal traffic in drugs;
    Any inference of sex perversion;
    White slavery;
    Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races);
    Sex hygiene and venereal diseases;
    Scenes of actual childbirth – in fact or in silhouette;
    Children’s sex organs;
    Ridicule of the clergy;
    Willful offense to any nation, race or creed;

    And be it further resolved, That special care be exercised in the manner in which the following subjects are treated, to the end that vulgarity and suggestiveness may be eliminated and that good taste may be emphasized:

    The use of the flag;
    International relations (avoiding picturizing in an unfavorable light another country’s religion, history, institutions, prominent people, and citizenry);
    The use of firearms;
    Theft, robbery, safe-cracking, and dynamiting of trains, mines, buildings, etc. (having in mind the effect which a too-detailed description of these may have upon the moron);
    Brutality and possible gruesomeness;
    Technique of committing murder by whatever method;
    Methods of smuggling;
    Third-degree methods;
    Actual hangings or electrocutions as legal punishment for crime;
    Sympathy for criminals;
    Attitude toward public characters and institutions;
    Apparent cruelty to children and animals;
    Branding of people or animals;
    The sale of women, or of a woman selling her virtue;
    Rape or attempted rape;
    First-night scenes;
    Man and woman in bed together;
    Deliberate seduction of girls;
    The institution of marriage;
    Surgical operations;
    The use of drugs;
    Titles or scenes having to do with law enforcement or law-enforcing officers;
    Excessive or lustful kissing, particularly when one character or the other is a “heavy”.

    There is a lot more at the link, including NUDE PHOTOGRAPHS! (In case Mark Kearns(?) is reading this, and needs something to slobber over.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    PS: Yes, the “Code” was a form of “political correctness.”

    1. Squeeky,
      The Catholic Legion of Decency used to regurlar publish its “moral ratings” of films.
      I think there were 5 categories….as I remember, A-1, A-2, A-3, B, and C.
      “B” was defined as “morally objectionable”, and “C” was “morally condemned”.
      As moviegoers in the early to mid 1960s, I think most of guys at our Catholic school would try to see the “B”and “C” movies, using the Legion’s ratings as a guide where there might be a “little skin” in a film.😊
      Not me, of course. Most of those “B” and “C” movies back then would be rated PG or PG-13 today.

        1. Funny episode!
          My all-time favorite “Car 54” episode was “The Beast Who Walked the Bronx”.
          I think the entire episode can be found on the internet, maybe on youtube.

      1. tnash – there were some great movies made under the old Code. The passing of the Code was not necessarily a good thing. Or the Legion of Decency.

  3. “Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh warned that cinemas or public concerts threaten the moral backbone of the country and lead to “atheistic or rotten” influence.”

    That’s true.

  4. Meanwhile, the Saudi Embassy can’t even be bothered responding to my email regarding the mass starvation in Yemen that is directly attributable to Saudi actions.

    What, if anything, are the Saudi so-called clerics saying about the kingdom’s actions in Yemen?

    1. The land there is marginal and local political groups started an insurgency. If you don’t want the disruptions which come from insurgency, don’t start one. Isn’t the Saudis fault.

  5. This reminds me of a recent conversation I had with someone from Ukraine. He had never heard of Aesop, or any other of the classics. He thought Aesop was an American writer. Great literature was not taught in schools under the USSR because they wanted to restrict critical thinking and the questioning of authority.

    So we have vast populations of people without the foundation in education for critical thinking. Which reminds me of recent efforts to expunge the classics from Western education under the excuse that they were written by Caucasians.

    1. The Ukraine was considered to be the breadbasket for the USSR – so not much money invested in education for the farming peasants. However, the USSR did pluck those who excelled in the arts, sciences and sports and brought them to Moscow for education. I know two Ukes who are both classical musicians – they perform all over the world – thanks to their training provided by Mother Russia.

      Is your Uke that much different than your average student in the US whose education depends on their parental guidance and what district they live in?

      1. Moscow? There are a half-dozen large cities in the Ukraine. Five of the six have general universities founded at various times between 1661 and 1937, in addition to an ant heap of polytechnics and specialized schools for the arts or the professions.

      2. Most Ukrainians and Russians of Jewish dissent left to escape the pogroms. They are still leaving Russia in order to escape Putin’s cruelty and antiSemitism.

        1. Rubbish. Over 85% of the Jewish population in Russia and adjacent states left after emigration controls were removed in 1988. Those left are the hard core. Putin’s no danger to Russia residual Jewish population.

  6. Of course they want to ban film, music, and the other arts.

    That would lead to thinking, exposure to the freedoms of faraway lands, and perhaps rebellion against living in their militant Puritanical world. They rely on oppression to keep the people in line.

    All repressive regimes use the same tactics. Perhaps bootlegs of Adele, Mr Rogers, Flipper, The Brady Bunch, Modern Family, with some Outlander thrown in for spice will cause the global overthrow of dictatorships and the demand for personal liberty.

    1. Karen – you know they are downloading Game of Thrones. They can’t fool me. 😉

    2. Of course they want to ban film, music, and the other arts.

      The particular ban is not contra ‘music’ but singing concerts, not contra ‘film’ but cinemas. There’s long been a cultural bias against (if not a prohibition upon) figurative art in the Islamic world. Nothing local to the Saudis.

    3. Karen –

      When the Iron Curtain wall was still full-on, many East-Germans secretly installed TV antennas in their attics, and watched daily broadcasts from West Berlin. One of the most popular programs became “Knight Rider” (starring David Hasselhoff), which was widely copied and shown in private homes.

      Yes, a fictional television series, revolving around a lone champion, out in the wilderness, obtaining ‘justice’ for the oppressed, helped spur demand for personal liberty and contributed to the overthrow of tyranny.

      Hasselhoff was invited to sing during the destruction of the Berlin Wall.

  7. @Jack R that would mean all Dems & Liberals must wear Burkas, sounds OK.

    1. Roscoe,
      I’m not Autumn or Steve but I did find that article interesting and useful. It demonstrates the worst of tribalism and how this self-described linguist can manipulate entire segments of the population into group think. His tell was that he frames his entire argument that good citizens, enlightened citizens recognize that Democrats are good and Republicans are evil. He completely dismisses the fact our motivations, our human nature will always be self-interest. Sure, we can try to be part of the collective like the Democrats/Republicans, but when those institutions are exposed to be corrupt and morally bankrupt, then it will be in our human nature to withdraw from those institutions.

      Humans, whether they know it or not will always look to secure their natural rights. This is what progressives fail to understand. They have tried and will continue to try to replace this fundamental self-interest in freedom, liberty and property. This is what enlightenment has brought us. It is these self-evident truths that will never be put back in the bottle. These truths are what places like Saudi Arabia are trying very hard to keep from their own people.

      So the best way to try and put the genie back in the bottle is to unwind the enlightenment. Don’t teach it to our citizens for multiple generations and before you know it we will have regressed to pre-enlightenment era thought. The problem for progressives will always be the same; you would need to go full on N. Korea or Saudi Arabia and outright ban the teaching of history to achieve your goal. This ISI study will demonstrate your “progress” but you will never achieve your goal.

      1. Olly –

        From my own experience of 40yrs ago, I detested “US History” and refused to be proficient in learning it. Not because it had to do with the US, or the topics/ideals presented. But, rather, it was taught in a manner of seemingly disconnected events, facts, and dates. The ‘War Between the States’ (often incorrectly referred to as the ‘US Civil War’) is a perfect example of the tediousness and minutiae of such. BTW, I attended Government (so-called ‘public’) Schools.

        Such continued attempts at cramming this information into students heads can only expand and worsen over time. What started as the need for just one year of history teaching (i.e. “US History 1”), is now up to at least 2 years worth. Should the US – and the world – continue to exist, how long will it be until we are ONLY teaching US History (1, 2, 3, …)?

        I worked in a technical capacity all my life; so, such history knowledge was never of much use to me in my field anyway. But, over the years, I have been educated – and I give thanks for – blog such as this, the bloggers here, and other websites and individuals that filled-in the knowledge gaps I never knew I had (I could have sworn they never mentioned the internment of the Japanese during WWII, for example).

        1. ExpatNJ – It is not the War between the States or the US Civil War but rather the War of Northern Aggression.

        2. Good post Expat. I too went to public schools, in the 60’s and 70’s. I don’t recall the history being taught with any context to it. There’s an interesting book titled “Elementary Catechism on the Constitution of the United States for the use of schools” written by Arthur Stansbury (1828). It provides context to our founding that today’s schools seem to neglect.

    2. Lakoff and Salon are just trying to keep themselves relevant. What an idiot: Dem Cultists voted for HRC, Progressives voted Sanders/Stein, stayed home and/or voted Trump. Just shows how stupid the MSM and entitled academics are. May they choke on all their self indulgent writings! We don’t care!

  8. Do not let any Saudis into this country. None. Prohibit tent head scarfs and whatnot for men and women. But keep the ugly womens’ faces covered if they are here in public. Put the Koran in all the public bathrooms whether for men, women or bent people for use as toilet paper.

  9. The Saudi Kingdom is back this week reminding people of the inherent extreme lunacy of theocratic legal systems. Saudi Arabia’s top religious authority Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh has proclaimed that cinemas and singing concerts are unIslamic and morally harmful.

    No, they’re reminding you that their country is not your country and that they’re not interested in what you think is apposite in public places.

  10. I will admit that my generation is responsible for the drug attitude of today’s generation. And I do apologize. If I could take back the 60s I would. Sadly, many countries have copied our life-style, since Hollywood kindly splashed it across the big screen in countries across the world. I am with the Grand Mufti on this one. Please do not copy us.

    1. What the law professor does not consider is that regulations need to be implementable. ‘No singing concerts’ is overly categorical, but it incorporates a readily understood bright line. ‘No rock and roll’ or ‘no rap’ would lead inspectors into finicky controversies about what is and is not ‘rock and roll’ or ‘rap’.

    1. Naked people at a concert: wow. Maybe appreciate the fact that you’re free to see such a picture, and to post it online without the morality police seeking you out.

    2. So I was talking to one of my former bosses a few weeks ago – he is now 72 and has many accomplishments – good career, excellent boss and mentor, father of two kind and successful kids who are now rearing their own families, involved with various community activities, etc. He says his BIGGEST regret looking back is that he didn’t go to Woodstock. =)

      1. Autumn – I was around then and didn’t even know Woodstock was happening. 🙂

        1. Paul Schulte
          …- There was a very “newspacked” period of c. 6-8 weeks in the summer of 1969.
          The moon landing, the Manson murders (Tate and her guests, and the LaBiancas), Woodstock, and the deaths of Ho Chi Minh and Rocky Marciano all took place within that time span.
          If one was in a coma during that period, there would be a lot of catching up to do on major news items.

          1. tnash – during that period I was not getting the daily paper or watching the daily news.

            1. It’s amazing that you can remember, Paul S. — as a history teacher — that you were paying no attention during these times.

        1. Right on Joe! It’s all a scam, or to paraphrase Carlin “we ain’t in the club” At least we have the freedom for discourse – a healthy outlet and an alternative to antidepressants =)

  11. Thank goodness they are not playing chess – now that would be real trouble.

    1. I always read the professor’s Saudi posts, as I work with many Saudis and am friends with some, as well. Generally speaking, they are both media/tech savvy (apps, music, movies, etc.) and genuinely religiously conservative. As the population changes (it is very young), it will be interesting to see how things shake out in terms of ‘Western’ influences and public/private space.

      1. I wonder that, too. In Iran, the young generation is more pro-Western, but there are very firm efforts to stamp that out. We’re seeing more rebellious youth in Saudi Arabia, too, but they often end up in jail, flogged, or executed. I do not know if they have the organization or any real power to be successful at enacting change. It’s the placement of the family honor upon the shoulders of women that foremost needs to change. They excuse a lot of brutality and repression under the guise of preserving honor. Women mustn’t drive or they will have affairs and damage the family honor. Women mustn’t show there ankles, mustn’t speak to the opposite sex, mustn’t dance with non relatives, mustn’t travel without a chaperone, a daughter must be drowned in the family pool for eloping or sleeping with anyone, etc, etc, etc. The entire family will be shamed unless women are the most controlled members of UAE society.

        We’ll have to see.

        1. Yes, it’s a complicated time to say the least. In terms of women’s rights, I have been told quite directly by some Saudi gals that they have no interest in learning how to drive or in pushing to acquire that right (and no interest in being lectured about why they should want to.) That being said, I know of some Saudi men who have taught their sisters to drive on the sly. I am pretty sure that female college graduates now outnumber male college graduates there and all those gals are going to need to get to work. As you say, we will see.

  12. I don’t know why the prof keeps posting about Saudi Arabia and this mufti here, that cleric there…the whole world agrees that Saudi Arabia, the house of Saudi and its ruling politico-religious apparatus is on the margins of humanity.
    Right now if feels as silly as pointing at the sun and exclaiming: look, it is bright! This the same Saudi arabia that practices flogging and beheading? Yet the same S. Arabia that is artificially held afloat above the dunes eager to swallow it back by no less than the US of A?

    What we should focus instead on is how much pressure can we put on our government and elected officials to stop supporting Saudi Arabia and its domestic/international oppression. Anything other than that is waste of time and energy and constant recycling of bait click.

    1. To direct negative attention on the Saudi itShayHeads one must point out their daily beast behaviors. So the article is good in that respect. But we need to be strong in our condemnation of the Saudi govt, the clerics, and the believers.
      “Constant recycling of bait click”. I am going to remember that phrase. Kind of like “praise the Lord and pass the ammunition”.

    2. Define ‘support’. Arms sales to Saudi Arabia amount to nine-figure sums most years, which is sofa change in the military budget. They receive no overseas development aid. American troops in Saudi Arabia consist of a three-digit population billeted at Saudi facilities.

      1. We developed, installed, and trained the Saudis on the use of a very effective anti-ballistic missile defense system, and over the past decade have increased our arms sales to the point that Israel was distressed that we’ve tipped the balance of power.

        We really wanted military access to the hostile ME, and we have paid dearly, and overlooked much, to get it.

        1. There is this place called Iran….

          Karen, arms sales to Saudi Arabia usually run to something on the order of $900 million per year. That’s not going to tip the balance of power nor is there much of a secular trend in arms sales. Saudi Arabia has assisted the United States in certain projects and participated in counter-insurgency efforts on its borders, but it has not otherwise been in any armed conflict with another party at any time since 1924. This notion that the Saudis are dangerous is a fantasy, and a very persistent one in this combox.

          1. “Karen, arms sales to Saudi Arabia usually run to something on the order of $900 million per year. That’s not going to tip the balance of power nor is there much of a secular trend in arms sales. Saudi Arabia has assisted the United States in certain projects and participated in counter-insurgency efforts on its borders, but it has not otherwise been in any armed conflict with another party at any time since 1924. ”

            Haven’t the Saudis been heavily involved in Yeman, recently? That campaign would seem to qualify as ‘armed conflict with another party’ to me.

            What ever the dollar value of weapons per year, I would say that a better measure of US/Saudi military cooperation would be the weapons systems actually transferred to their control, which include the best anti aircraft missile system we have, the best fighter air craft we have (aside from F35 which is just now entering service in very limited numbers with our forces) and the best main battle tanks that we have. The missile systems and fighter air craft give the Saudis the ability to dominate the air in any regional conflict and therefore control the outcome on the battlefield – assuming their troops remain loyal.

            In addition the Saudis seem to provide material support for the most extreme branches of religion that provide the philosophical/religious rational as well as practical support to terrorists.

            It seems to me the best that can be said for the Saudis is they are sometimes a useful client state fraught with much potential for damage to US interests.

            1. <iHaven’t the Saudis been heavily involved in Yeman, recently? That campaign would seem to qualify as ‘armed conflict with another party’ to me.

              What do you think ‘participated in counter-insurgency on their borders’ means? Can you bother to read two sentences in succession?

              The welfare of armed partisans seldom interests me, especially in a country like Yemen, which was not severely governed ‘ere said armed partisans came up with the idea of ruining the place more than it was already ruined. If the Saudis and their local clients cure enough of those brigands with a dose of lead that it causes the rest of them to slink back home, that’s good.

    3. Rather than criticize someone who produces a widely followed and widely appreciated blog, why don’t you start your own blog and focus on that issue.

      1. Rather than criticize someone who produces a widely followed and widely appreciated blog,

        Because some of the professors postings merit criticism. A great deal of it.

        1. DesperatelySeekingSusan – although I find there is a mix of quality in the posts on this blog by JT, they are his choice and I can decide to enter the fray or not. So can you. You can always send JT topics to be covered if you are dissatisfied.

    4. Once again, Po, you have to deceive people about the facts in order to defend Islam. Or perhaps you’re only deceiving yourself. It’s not at all a case of ” this mufti here, that cleric there…the whole world agrees that Saudi Arabia, the house of Saudi and its ruling politico-religious apparatus is on the margins of humanity.” This would be like saying “why are we talking about this Catholic bishop here, that priest there” when they give much publicized sermons on the sins of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality. Implying, as you do, that these people are merely speaking for themselves and not on behalf of their religion. When in fact they are speaking for their religion and not merely offering a personal opinion, although one would expect they they agree with the catechism of the Roman Catholic Church given that they’ve chosen to become priests.

      These clerics are speaking for a particular,coherent school of thought within Sunni Islam, and it’s not outside the mainstream.

      On this point Professor Turley gets closer to the point than you do.

      “The Kingdom follows a medieval system of Sharia law and denies basic civil liberties to women, non-Muslims, political dissidents, and journalists.”

      Closer than you, Po, but still no cigar. The Hanbali school of Sharia law, which holds sway throughout the Arabian Peninsula and not just SA, is not particularly primitive compared to the other three main Sunni schools of Sharia; the Hanafi’i, the Shafi’i, and the Maliki. Nor is it particularly primitive compared to the main Shia school of Sharia, the Jaafari school of the twelvers. These five schools govern the lives of over 95% of Muslims in the Islamic world. No school of Sharia allows for equal rights for women or non-Muslims. None of these schools of Sharia have any provision for a secular state. Which is not to say that there aren’t Muslim majority countries that have more or less secular governments, but then they have to more or less ignore the clerics. None of these governments can afford to ignore the clerics entirely, which is why there is no Muslim majority . countries where women and non-Muslims have complete equality with Muslim men. Since there is no separation of Mosque and state within sharia then there really not such thing as political dissidence. Because when you criticize a government based upon Allah’s law, which draws first on the Quran and then the Kitab-al-Sittah (the six books of Sunni Islam, the canonical collections of ahadith or reports of Muhammad’s deeds, actions, sayings, and judgements) or the Kitab-al-Arba (the four books which are the equivalent in Shia Islam) you are very close to a line that can’t be crossed. You are very close to criticizing Allah and his messenger. So it isn’t as if SA is singling out political dissidents and journalists. No on in the kingdom enjoys freedom of speech. And SA only differs by degree from most other Islamic countries in this regard. It is not unique.

      As the Amman Message from “moderate” Jordan attests.

      “(1) Whosoever is an adherent to one of the four Sunni schools (Mathahib) of Islamic jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i and Hanbali), the two Shi’i schools of Islamic jurisprudence (Ja`fari and Zaydi), the Ibadi school of Islamic jurisprudence and the Thahiri school of Islamic jurisprudence, is a Muslim. Declaring that person an apostate is impossible and impermissible. Verily his (or her) blood, honour, and property are inviolable. Moreover, in accordance with the Shaykh Al-Azhar’s fatwa, it is neither possible nor permissible to declare whosoever subscribes to the Ash`ari creed or whoever practices real Tasawwuf (Sufism) an apostate. Likewise, it is neither possible nor permissible to declare whosoever subscribes to true Salafi thought an apostate.
      Equally, it is neither possible nor permissible to declare as apostates any group of Muslims who believes in God, Glorified and Exalted be He, and His Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him) and the pillars of faith, and acknowledges the five pillars of Islam, and does not deny any necessarily self-evident tenet of religion.

      (2) There exists more in common between the various schools of Islamic jurisprudence than there is difference between them…”

      Boy, did they say a mouthful in that second point. The five main schools agree approximately 80% of the time (the Amman Message throws in a few minor schools; I’ve seen similar agreements such as one out of Sudan back in the ’80s recognizing different mixes of Sunni and Shia schools of Sharia as legitimate, but the five main ones are really the only important ones although I’m sure the Ismailis and Zahiris which are left out of the Amman Message would disagree). For instance, they all agree apostates must be killed.

      As an aside, Po, on another thread you kept insisting I didn’t know the basics of Islam, there is no such thing as abrogation, and that the verse that says there is no compulsion in religion, and Muslims are free to leave Islam they like. If that’s the case, kindly name which of these five schools say that apostates aren’t to be killed.

      Just kidding. Trick question. There is not such school. I’ll go for the low hanging fruit. Iran is easy because it’s a Sharia state, and all you have to do is check their Constitution. I’m not going to link to the source because too many links cause comments to go into moderation. But my source is the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.

      “Executive Summary

      Under Iranian law, a Muslim who leaves his or her faith or converts to another religion can be charged with apostasy. In addition, any person, Muslim or non-Muslim, may be charged with the crime of “swearing at the Prophet” if he or she makes utterances that are deemed derogatory towards the Prophet Mohammad, other Shi’a holy figures, or other divine prophets.

      Both apostasy and swearing at the Prophet are capital offenses. While the latter has been specifically criminalized in the Islamic Penal Code, the former has not been explicitly mentioned as a crime. Nevertheless, provisions in the Islamic Penal Code and the Iranian Constitution state that Shari’a, or Islamic religious law, applies to situations in which the law is silent. As a result, the Iranian judiciary is empowered to bring apostasy charges based on its interpretation of Shari’a law.

      …Cases of apostasy and swearing at the Prophet are rare occurrences in Iran. Nevertheless, a diverse group of individuals has been charged with these religious crimes. Muslim-born converts to Christianity, Bahá’ís, Muslims who challenge the prevailing interpretation of Islam, and others who espouse unconventional religious beliefs have been targeted and prosecuted by the Iranian state. In some instances, apostasy cases have clear political overtones, while others seem to be primarily of a religious nature.”

      Of course these cases are rare. Most apostates, and there are a lot of them, keep it secret and outwardly maintain the appearance of being a good Muslim. This is particularly true if they not only leave Islam but convert to another religion.

      …The Rushdie and Najafi fatwas were based on apostasy laws. Rooted in Islamic jurisprudence and developed over centuries, apostasy laws are commonly accepted by Muslim jurists. Senior Muslim clerics have remained faithful to apostasy laws as they existed in the pre-modern era.[6] The majority of Muslim jurists believe that a Muslim is not permitted to change his or her religion.[7] Several acts such as denying the existence of God, the denial of a particular prophet, and the denial of one of the fundamental tenets of Islam may constitute apostasy.[8]”

      To be fair, Iran does not always execute people convicted of apostasy. There are reasons for that. For instance the Jafari school of Sharia holds that femaile apostates or not to executed. Instead they are to be imprisoned for life, beaten at prayer times, and given only a minimal amount of food. This is based on Islam’s view that women are inferior to men, so it is easier to break a woman’s will. If she repents she is to be released. Then there are disputes on the fringe over what constitutes apostasy. Does denying the infallibility of the rightly guided Imams constitute apostasy. Some are converts to other religions, others have heterodox views and practices. These matters are up to the individual jurist to decide based on their own interpretation of Sharia. Suffice to say the Jaafari school provides the death penalty for apostates, although individual judges may at times impose lengthy prison terms based on a variety of factors.

      The Sunni schools differ on trivialities such as whether or not it’s necessary to ask an apostate to repent, if so do you give the apostate any time to think about it, if so how much time, and who may kill them.

      The Malikis are the only school of Sharia to replace Sunan ibn Majah with Muwatta Malik as their sixth canonical collection of ahadith. In the Book of Judgements we read:

      “Yahya related to me from Malik from Zayd ibn Aslam that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “If someone changes his deen – strike his neck!”

      The meaning of the statement of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in our opinion and Allah knows best, is that “if someone changes his deen, strike his neck!” refers to those who leave Islam for other than it – like the heretics and their like, about whom it is known. They are killed without being called to tawba because their tawba is not recognised. They were hiding their kufr and publishing their Islam, so I do not think that one calls such people to tawba, and one does not accept their word. As for the one who goes out of Islam to something else and divulges it, one calls him to tawba. If he does not turn in tawba, he is killed. If there are people in that situation, I think that one should call them to Islam and call them to tawba. If they turn in tawba, that is accepted from them. If they do not turn in tawba, they are killed. That does not refer as we see it, and Allah knows best, to those who come out of Judaism to Christianity or from Christianity to Judaism, nor to someone who changes his deen from the various forms of deen except for Islam. Whoever comes out of Islam to other than it and divulges that, that is the one who is referred to, and Allah knows best! ”

      Deen is the Arabic word for religion. So, if our Iranian friend from above who secretly apostatizes in Sub-Saharan Africa, the primary stronghold of the Maliki school,that individual would nto be asked to repent. They are hiding their kufr and “publishing their Islam. You just can’t take a person’s word anyway. But someone who publicly apostatizes should be first asked to repent and return to Islam, because they did it openly. The Malikis give the apostate three days to return to Islam.

      The Reliance of the Traveler is an in-depth manual of Shafii jurisprudence. Here’s what it says on the subject of killing apostates.


      1.2, (page 583)

      The following are not subject to retaliation:

      (3) A Jewish or Christian subject of the Islamic state for killing an apostate from Islam (because a subject of the state is under its protection, while killing an apostate from Islam is without consequences);


      5.4 (There is no expiation for killing someone who has left Islam, a highwayman, (def: o15), or a convicted married adulterer, even when someone besides the caliph kills him.)

      8.0 APOSTASY FROM ISLAM (RIDDA) (page 595)

      8.1 When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.

      8.2 In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (A: or his representative) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.

      8.3 If he is a freeman, no one besides the caliph or his representative may kill him. If someone else kills him, the killer is disciplined (def: o17) (for arrogating the caliph’s prerogative and encroaching upon his rights, as this is one of his duties).

      o8.4 There is no indemnity for killing an apostate (or any expiation, since it is killing someone who deserves to die).”

      Frankly it’s getting a little tiresome finding detailed English language sources for the different schools of fiqh that I’m comfortable citing. Fortunately, it’s entirely unnecessary. As I mentioned when discussing the Maliki and Hanbali schools, they have different geographic strongholds. The Hanbali school’s stronghold in the Arabian Peninsula. SA does not have a penal. The country’s only law is Sharia. And yes they routinely execute people for apostasy, just as they routinely execute people for witchcraft and blasphemy.

      And the Saudis take the Hanbali version of Sharia so seriously, you may recall how they used the Interpol red notice system in 2012 to have the Malaysians catch and return journalist Hamza Kashgari to face apostasy charges. Over a tweet in which he expressed his personal religious beliefs. Since he was going to be executed if the case went to trial he recanted. The Saudis put him in protective custody. For all I know he may still be there.

      The Hanafi generally sweeps across central and south Asia from Turkey. As I mentioned in another, it was the Hanafi religious scholars who got angry with Muslim rulers for treating their polytheistic Buddhist and Hindu subjects too leniently by offering them dhimmi status during brief respites in what was otherwise a continuous 500 year long genocide.

      Since we were stupid enough to actually help write the Afghan’s new constitution and base it on Sharia (were you advising the State Dept. on that, Po, telling them how Sharia outlaws compulsion in religion and guarantees freedom of religion?) as early as 2006 they started trying Muslim converts to Christianity as a capital crime. Just google the name Abdul Rahman. It’s still going on because Sharia is Sharia. There’s a small refugee community of Afghan Christian converts in India.

      It’s crazy to suggest these clerics are just random whackjobs. They may be whackjobs, but views they’re expressing are not their own off the wall opinion. It’s standard Hanbali orthodoxy. And Hanbali orthodoxy is not outside the mainstream. There is very little daylight between the Hanbali, the Hanafi’i, the Shafi’i, the Maliki, a, nd for that matter the Shia Jaafari. That list pretty much represents the sum total of over a millenia of Islamic scholarship.

      But Po says don’t believe it, because, err, he’s an anonymous westernized Muslim on the internet. So there.

      1. My bad; the Zahiris weren’t left out of the Amman Message. I’ve just never seen it transliterated as Thahiri before. It’s also strange to see them singled out as if they’re a separate sect. They’re not; they’re a minor Sunni school of Sharia. There’s some debate as to whether or not it’s extinct in the real world (they only had, at most, a few adherents in small isolated pockets in Morocco and Pakistan, the last I heard a couple of decades ago) But the word is that Zahiri legal thought still has influence within other schools of Sunni jurisprudence.

        Also all the typos, oddly placed punctuation marks, and missing words are due to my laptop having some sort of malware on it that I need to get rid of. The cursor will jump around, highlight and delete, and do other weird stuff, sometimes so quickly I don’t catch it.

  13. Soon it will be like this in the USA. Any entertainer who does not agree with Trump will be banned /silenced.

    1. maud gonne, your brain has been long gonne. In case you haven’t noticed, it is the LEFTISTS that are in charge and any entertainer who agrees with Trump is taken to the woodshed, not the other way around. But, given your foolish statement, I can rightfully asume that you are a Leftist and, therefore, you have a perverse view of the world. In contrast to Obama (and as fellow Leftist Clinton would do if she had prevailed) Trump is trying to keep America from joining with the perverse Islamic nations to prevent their pestilence and poison from polluting us.

      1. “Trump is trying to keep America from joining with the perverse Islamic nations to prevent their pestilence and poison from polluting us.”

        Do you think he will be able to protect our precious bodily fluids?

        I hope you are all drinking, only, rain water and, occasionally, pure grain alcohol.

        1. BFM,”You know what Clemenceau said about war Mandrake?”
          That is my favorite movie of all time. I have seen it at least 20 times. My dad flew bombers for SAC at that exact time so it’s always been a favorite that I can connect to.
          Thanks for the reference.

            1. There seem to be a lot of us. My father was Army Air Corp before there was an Air Force. He was an instructor for the ball turret, B-17G. He trained young men, actually they were mostly boys, to fight from behind twin 50 caliber machine guns in a turret that had to be lowered into position after the bomber had left the ground.

              That was pretty lucky for me. As instructor he never saw combat. During those days air crews were taking 90% casualties in tours of 25 flights in day light raids over Europe. After the long range fighters came on stream to accompany the bombers to the target and back, casualty rates fell to 80% – fathom that, 80% killed or wounded so badly they required hospitalization.

              He never talked about his experience except to say that is where he met my mom who was Women’s Army Corps. A few years ago when I visited the VA to arrange for her flag, WACs were so long forgotten that I had to show a fragile copy of her discharge paper to prove there was such a thing as Women’s Army Corps. There was no question that she served; just confusion and disbelief that her unit was Women’s Army Corps.

              Long before elementary school, I found his gunners manual. There was a time I could tell you things like clime rate, maximum altitude, cruise speed and main armament for planes like Bette, Hamp, Oscar and Zeke.

              But the things that impress me most are two statements. The first, right after the title page of the manual, was the aphorism “Know your enemy”.

              The second, buried far toward the back, were words to the effect “Even when you run out of ammunition, continue to aim your weapon. Your enemy does not know your are out and may break off his attack”.

              As an adult I am struck by the fact that there was a time in our nation’s history that the best we could give to men going into battle was the advice ” … continue to aim your weapon … “.

              Some how I think that statement is important. I try to remember that statement when the discussion turns to the subject of sending troops to foreign lands.

              1. That is a fascinating story! I ripped off at least one Air Force book from my father, about strategic assessment of bombers, IIRC. I will try to find it. There were maybe even two books, but it was like 10 years ago I read them. They weren’t Top Secret or anything like that.

                Squeeky Fromm
                Girl Reporter

    2. Or possibly anyone who disagrees with the “Dark State” (Military Industrial Complex), as Trump may have begun to realize.

    3. The problem for Trump is hardly anyone agrees with him. He is going to have to round up quite a few. I suppose he could arrest a few and scare everyone else into submission.

      1. If fantasy aids your emotional equilbrium, it’s no skin off anyone else’s nose, as long as you don’t pester the adults with it.

        1. Some readers here also read “Counter Punch”… Not my fantasy… a true nightmare..

      2. Your flaw is in thinking anyone needed to agree with Trump for him to become the next President. They only needed to disagree with Clinton in sufficient electoral numbers that put someone else in the White House. All the hype about NeverTrump overshadowed the reality of the NeverClinton and of more significance, NeverEstablishment.

        The hyperventilation over the legitimacy of a Trump Presidency ignores the fact that legitimate citizens freely exercised their legitimate right to vote as did our legitimate electoral college. The argument that Russia interfered in our election by hacking AND exposing a corrupted candidate should not be viewed as a conspiracy by Trump. It should be viewed for what it is, a conspiracy by those in our own country willing to hide the corruption of THEIR preferred candidate.

  14. The Princes and Muftis collaborate to keep the Saudi denizens under control. Our government officials can only dream of such power! Luckily we have seperation of church and state – if only we had such between the corporate overlords. Goldman Sachs is already firmly entrenched in the new administration.

    1. And if Rex Tilllerson is confirmed, big OIL is officially running our foreign policy. Drain the swamp……..what a cruel joke.

      1. What should drive our foreign policy; anti-colonialism, reparations for western hegemony, open borders, anti-capitalism, climate change? What is the legitimate purpose for government?

      2. He was an executive at an oil company. This is a problem just why?

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