2 August, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/26/2009
SAUDI ARABIA
Cinema and theatre contrary to Islam, says Saudi grand mufti
Such activities distract people from their work and prevent them from achieving professional success. Saudi society is increasingly showing signs of strains between a very conservative religious leadership and youth who want greater openness and freedom. In eight days more than 25,000 Saudis attend screening of Saudi-made comedy.

Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Cinema and theatre are “against Sharia” because they distract people from work and weaken their efforts in achieving progress, said Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Shaikh Abdul Aziz Alu Al Sheikh during a conference on leisure, visual arts and literature attended by students at King Saud University.

“Theatrical performance, whether it is a cinema or a song, would generally make an impression that is against Sharia. People need only those (art forms) that are useful to them to change their way of life (in an Islamic manner),” he decreed.

Last year the Grand Mufti issued an edict, in which he slammed Turkish soap operas like ‘Nour’ and ‘The Last Years,’ the hottest shows on Arab TV, describing them as “so much evil” that “they destroy people's ethics and are against our values.”

The mufti’s pronouncements are however a sign that Saudi society is increasingly split between a ruling establishment made up of very conservative clerics who espoused strict adherence to Islamic precepts and a broader group of more liberal-oriented young Saudis who want greater openness, more freedom for women and a greater range of entertainment.

Like young people across the Middle East young Saudis routinely go online which gives them access to US action movies, but they cannot go to the movies, an issue that is still taboo.

Yet the recent screening of a Saudi comedy, ‘Menahi’, in two movie theatres twice a day for eight days—with women dutifully seated in the balcony, and men in the stalls—was cheered by many Saudis.

“We put sound and visual equipment, we sold tickets for the first time in Saudi Arabia, and we even sold popcorn,” said Ayman Halawani, general manager of Rotana Studios, the production arm of a company owned by Waleed bin Talal, a financier and member of the royal family, who has become the target of ultra-conservatives for his liberal ideas and investments in the TV and show business.

Overall some 25,000 people actually saw the film.

Such desire for openness is in contrast with what the ruling class wants for Saudi society. For the old guard any overture to customs and traditions that are not strictly Islamic is a threat that must be opposed.

In his address to students at King Saud University, the grand mufti warned against playing chess because it “causes a man to lose his wealth and waste his time.”

Conversely “photography is one of the necessities of life” because it helps in “lectures, [. . .] religious activities [. . .] while maintaining public security.”

“Only the photography of sculptures and models is prohibited,” he said.

Remuneration for poets who attend festivals and cultural events is permissible if their words are good, faultless, without “abusive words or references.”

Finally, the mufti urged students to stay away from cigarettes and avoid reckless driving, especially at night or early morning.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/29/2010 SAUDI ARABIA
Grand Mufti condemns extremism and violence in sermon, experts discuss it
08/01/2005 SAUDI ARABIA
King Abdullah, a cautious reformer on the Saudi throne (Overview)
08/01/2005 SAUDI ARABIA
King Fahd, between openness to the US and support for Islamic fundamentalism (Overview)
08/02/2005 SAUDI ARABIA
King Fahd laid to rest amidst tight security and public indifference
10/08/2007 SAUDI ARABIA
How should a good Muslim behave? Go online to find out

Editor's choices
CHINA
Unofficial catholic community of Wenzhou speak out against forced demolition of Crosses, whole diocese fasting
by Joseph YuanAfter 90-year-old Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou led 26 priests of the open Church community to protest against the government’s act to demolish Crosses, Coadjutor Bishop James Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou also led his priests to issue an open statement “Strongly demand a halt to demolish Crosses on all churches.
CHINA
Wenzhou: 90-year-old bishop and 26 priests protest against cross demolitions
by Joseph YuanThis is not the first time that the old bishop and his priests speak out against the demolition campaign against crosses and churches, which has touched more than 400 buildings. During the protest, police tried to disperse the group, which sought to submit a petition. The faithful recite a Crown of the Divine Mercy is in support of the Chinese Church. In Lishui, churches are expected to be torn down by 31 August.
ISRAEL - IRAN
After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally
by Uri AvneryThis is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.