“Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.” — Ayatollah Khomeini
“Saudi clerics urge faithful to shun ‘Islamic’ superhero series,” from AFP, March 24:
Riyadh (AFP) – Saudi Arabia’s top clerics have declared an Islam-inspired cartoon series, which earned praise from US President Barack Obama, a “work of the devil” that Muslims should not watch.
The television version of superhero comic book “The 99” is being aired by Saudi-owned satellite channel MBC3, based in Dubai in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates.
But in a religious decree carried by Saudi websites on Monday, the clerics ruled the series blasphemous because the superheroes of its title are based on the 99 attributes ascribed to Allah in the Koran.
“The 99 is a work of the devil that should be condemned and forbidden in respect to Allah’s names and attributes,” the clerics, led by the kingdom’s mufti, Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, said.
The original comic strip version, first released in 2006, had already ran into opposition from Muslim hardliners not only in Saudi Arabia but also in neighbouring Kuwait, where it was created and produced by media executive Nayef al-Matawa.
The comics — produced in English as well as Arabic — won praise, however, not only from Obama but also from Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, for their message of moderation and cultural dialogue.
They have been sold around the world and have also spawned a merchandise range and a theme park in Kuwait as well as the Arabic-language television series.
Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia applies a strict version of Islam.