First Published: 2008-09-13

 
Saudi cleric: 'depraved' TV moguls may be killed
 

Saleh al-Luhaidan says ‘it is lawful to kill’ network owners ‘if their evil’ cannot be stopped.

 

Middle East Online

Shocking comments!

DUBAI - A Saudi cleric has issued a religious decree saying the owners of television networks broacasting "depravation and debauchery" may be killed, Al-Arabiya television reported on Friday.

"The owners of these channels propagate depravation and debauchery," said Saleh al-Luhaidan, chief justice of the supreme judicial council, the highest judicial authority in the ultra-conservative Saudi kingdom.

He made the remarks on radio in response to a caller who asked him to give an opinion on what he said were "immoral" programmes on Arab television, a source at Al-Arabiya said.

"It is lawful to kill ... the apostles of depravation... if their evil cannot be easily removed through simple sanctions," Luhaidan said, according to excerpt of the remarks broadcast on the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya.

The situation is "serious ... the degradation of morals is a form of perversion on earth," he added.

Recordings of the show were posted on web sites and passed around by mobile phone message in Saudi Arabia.

During Ramadan, when Muslims must fast from dawn to dusk, Arab satellite televisions broadcast lavish productions, including soap operas and mini-series, some with historical and religious themes, as well as game shows.

A popular soap that was broadcast by Al-Arabiya for several weeks preceeding Ramadan already stirred passions in Saudi Arabia, where the grand mufti branded it "subversive" and "anti-Islamic."

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, head of Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority, earlier this year issued a fatwa against "Noor" and decreed that any channel broadcasting the series is "an enemy of God and his Prophet."

The Turkish-made soap opera dubbed into Arabic tells the story of Mohannad and his equally stunning wife Noor as they wrestle to reconcile the conflicting pressures of traditional and modern worlds.

Al-Arabiya is a news channel based in Dubai and part of the Saudi group MBC.

But there were other series that did not manage to escape the censor’s ban.

Although key members of the Saudi royal family have promoted liberal reforms, many hardline clerics continue to express extreme views.

Observers say the Saudi government has failed to reign in its own clerics at a time it is fighting rebel extremist throughout the country.

Gulf analysts say the gap between the rulers of Saudi Arabia, who are pushing for more openness in the kingdom, and their increasingly conservative society continues to widen.

Many powerful clerics, despite their loyalty to the royal family, continue to hold on to views that embarrass the Saudi government.

The Saudi religious decree has attracted strong condemnation from media workers across the Arab Gulf.

 

CIA chief not optimistic about future for unified Syria

Bloody escalation in Turkey-PKK confrontations

Tunisia parliament to sack Prime Minister Habib Essid

Arab coalition denies blocking Yemen aid

First Syria families trickle out of besieged Aleppo

Turkey jails journalists as Erdogan rebukes Western critics

Aleppo residents wary of 'death corridors'

Maternity hospital bombed in Syria's Idlib

Up to 1 million more Iraqis risk being displaced

Erdogan accuses US general of 'backing putschists'

'Traitor's graveyard' for coup plotters in Turkey

Government team says leaving UN-backed Yemen talks

Turkey says army to keep up fight against ISIS

Palestinian 'long shot' legal fight over 1917 British declaration

EU enlargement chief warns Turkey to respect rule of law

IS executes 24 civilians after seizing Syria village

French PM mulls temporary ban on foreign-funded mosques

Egypt education system under spotlight

Syria rebels prevent civilians from leaving Aleppo

Turkey widens post-coup purge to businessmen

US says will continue to consider Nusra security threat

Egypt former anti-graft head gets jail term for exaggeration

Rebels form 'supreme council' to run war-torn Yemen

France, Britain call for end to Aleppo siege

Al-Qaeda OKs breaking ties with Syria affiliate

Croatia arrests Kurdish man wanted by Turkey

Tunisian army kills two 'terrorists'

Turkey sees over 40% drop in visitors

Assad offers amnesty to Syria rebels if they surrender

Study says lack of exercise cost world $67.5 billion

Second France church attacker formally identified

Egypt Christians hope for end to discrimination with new law

HRW accuses Syria, Russia of using banned cluster munitions

Post-coup Turkey continues military shake-up

Clinton camp accuses Trump of inviting foreign spying

Morocco arrests 52 suspects planning to set up ISIS branch

Coalition opens formal investigation into Syria civilian deaths

Pope to journalists: 'World at war', but not a religious war

Turkey warns post-coup crackdown ‘not completed yet’

Egypt top Muslim cleric denounces murder of French priest

Russia denies meddling in US election campaign

Syria regime kills 16 civilians in Aleppo assault

Killer of France priest was 'Syria obsessed time-bomb'

Netanyahu defends war record after protest by parents of dead soldiers

44 dead in double bomb blast in Syria Kurdish city