Dr. Yassir Burhami, vice president of Egypt’s Salafi party, issued a fatwa or Islamic decree last week saying that it is forbidden to hang pictures of “Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse” inside of children’s bedrooms.
Burhami added on the website ana salafi (“I am a Salafi”) that “All children toys are thrown on the ground by the child and he hugs it later, and there is no problem with this. However, I see no permissibility for hanging such pictures, according to a sahih (canonical) hadith of the prophet of Islam (peace and blessings on him), that ‘The angels do not enter homes that contain a dog or picture.’”
Salafis are modern day Muslims who closely pattern themselves after the words and deeds of Muhammad the prophet of Islam as recorded in the hadith and other sources. Because of this, they are a treasure trove of information concerning the practices and teachings of Islam’s founder and earliest followers.
Unsurprisingly, then, it is Salafi-minded Muslims who routinely evoke and uphold any number of things deemed absurd or evil in a Western context—from trying to enforce a canonical hadith that compels women to breastfeed adult men (ironically, to protect their “chastity”) to drinking camel urine for good health, to calling for the destruction of all churches. In all cases, Muhammad said so.
Accordingly, this same Dr. Burhami, the Egyptian Salafi leader, has been responsible for a number of “controversial” fatwas, including that Islam permits Muslim husbands to abandon their wives to rapists in order to save their own lives; that, although a Muslim man may marry non-Muslim women, specifically Christians and Jews, he must hate them—and show them that he hates them—because they are “infidels” (even as he enjoys them sexually); that Muslim cab and bus drivers are forbidden from transporting Coptic Christian priests to their churches, which he said was “more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar”; that marriage to minor girls is permissible; that Muslims must not celebrate Mother’s Day—“even if it saddens your mother”—because it is a Western innovation; and that Muslims are not permitted to leave Islam.
It is this mentality that the Egyptian government of Sisi recently permitted to return to Egypt’s mosques and media.