Feline Fatwa: Saudi cleric bans selfies with cats, Snapchat filters

Published May 27th, 2016 - 09:55 GMT
Selfies with cats, dogs, wolves, Snapchat filters, photography in general, and Pokemon cards, are all among things banned by Saudi religious figures. (Shutterstock)
Selfies with cats, dogs, wolves, Snapchat filters, photography in general, and Pokemon cards, are all among things banned by Saudi religious figures. (Shutterstock)

A senior Saudi cleric has banned selfie photos with cats, even as another leading cleric in the oil-rich Gulf state has banned the use of Snapchat filters for selfies - in a ruling evidently meant for those who failed to heed the first cleric's admonitions.

Cleric Saleh al-Fawzan, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, spoke on a TV broadcast last month in which he prohibited the "Western" trend of photographing oneself with an adorable feline, as translated and revealed by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute).

In fact, he also banned selfies with "dogs, wolves," and any other form of photography regardless of subject, unless it was "necessary." But a report on Thursday revealed Al-Fawzan wasn't the only one.

The New Arab reports on Thursday that just last week another cleric in Saudi Arabia, Naser al-Omar, ordered his followers not to use Snapchat filters in taking selfie pictures - evidently he never got the memo from Al-Fawzan banning all photography.

In a further ironic twist, al-Omar made the ban on Snapchat filters in a post to his Twitter account, showing how mired he already is in the cultural influences of the West.

Snapchat filters are "tampering with the image of the human face and the creation of God just to make people laugh," according to the cleric.

This is far from the first time Saudi clerics have made eyebrow-raising rulings.

Previously Saudi Arabia's grand mufti, the highest ranking religious official in the kingdom, banned Pokemon cards.

The reason? Some of the popular playing cards from the Japanese animated TV show bear symbols such as crosses and stars of David, clearly making them not Muslim enough for the mufti's taste.


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