Mars One is pleading with the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment to allow Muslims to join their Mars colony projected for 2025 — because after all, the Mars colony wouldn’t be any fun without someone there endlessly imagining insults, fabricating grievances, whining about having been offended, and demanding redress and special accommodations.
Yes, I know they didn’t say they wanted someone from Hamas-linked CAIR, but odds are that is the type who would go, just to make sure the trip wasn’t infected with “Islamophobia.”
An update on this story. “Mars One appeal for fatwa against Muslims applying to take part in trip to the Red Planet to be called off by Islamic council,” by Ted Thornhill for the Daily Mail, February 21:
The organisation planning the first manned mission to Mars has asked for the Fatwa issued against living there to be lifted, calling for clerics to remember Islam’s rich tradition of exploration and allow Muslims ‘to witness God’s creation in heaven’.
Mars One is planning on setting up the first human colony on Mars in 2025, but the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE) in the UAE declared recently that a trip there would be un-Islamic.
The committee argued that an attempt to dwell on the planet would be so hazardous as to be suicidal and killing oneself is not permitted by Islam.
According to Khaleejtimes.com it said: ‘Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam. There is a possibility that an individual who travels to planet Mars may not be able to remain alive there, and is more vulnerable to death.’
The astronauts, the committee said, would end up dying for no ‘righteous reason’ and would face the same punishment in the afterlife as someone who’d committed suicide.
The committee, led by Professor Dr Farooq Hamada, said: ‘Protecting life against all possible dangers and keeping it safe is an issue agreed upon by all religions and is clearly stipulated in verse 4/29 of the Holy Quran: Do not kill yourselves or one another. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.’
However, Mars One pointed out that the Quran encourages exploration.
In a written response to the Fatwa it highlighted a verse that says ‘and among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors: verily in that are Signs for those who know (Quran 30: 22)’.
It said: ‘The Muslim world has a rich tradition of exploration. The verse from the Quran [above] encourages Muslims to go out and see the signs of God’s creation in the “heavens and the earth”. The most influential example of this was the Moroccan Muslim traveller Ibn Battuta, who from 1325 to 1355 travelled 73,000 miles, visiting the equivalent of 44 modern countries.’
Mars One also disputed that the mission was tantamount to suicide.
The organisation said: ‘Space exploration, just like Earth exploration, will come with risks and rewards. It may seem extremely dangerous to send humans to Mars today, but the humans will be preceded by at least eight cargo missions.
‘Robotic unmanned vehicles will prepare the habitable settlement. Water and a breathable atmosphere will be produced inside the habitat and the settlement will be operational for two years, even before the first crew leaves Earth.
‘If we may be so bold: the GAIAE should not analyze the risk as they perceive it today. The GAIAE should assess the potential risk for humans as if an unmanned habitable outpost is ready and waiting on Mars. Any progress requires taking risks, but in this case the reward is “the next giant leap for mankind”. That reward is certainly worth the risks involved in this mission.’
It added: ‘Mars One respectfully requests GAIAE to cancel the Fatwa and make the greatest Rihla, or journey, of all times open for Muslims, too. They can be the first Muslims to witness the signs of God’s creation in heaven, drawing upon the rich culture of travel and exploration of early Islam.
‘The lives and journey of the first Mars settlers will tell us more about our place in the universe than any other humans before us. As Ibn Battuta also wrote: “Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”‘…