26 May 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 03/26/2009, 00.00

    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

    29/11/2010 SAUDI ARABIA
    Grand Mufti condemns extremism and violence in sermon, experts discuss it
    For experts, the Hajj sermon by Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh is of great significance. In it, the grand mufti urges Muslims to fight extremism and dangerous ideologies. Hundreds of media outlets around the Muslim world pick up his remarks.

    01/08/2005 SAUDI ARABIA
    King Abdullah, a cautious reformer on the Saudi throne (Overview)


    01/08/2005 SAUDI ARABIA
    King Fahd, between openness to the US and support for Islamic fundamentalism (Overview)


    02/08/2005 SAUDI ARABIA
    King Fahd laid to rest amidst tight security and public indifference
    Dignitaries from 36 countries attend the funeral, but locals shrug off the event: "He didn't do anything for us".

    08/10/2007 SAUDI ARABIA
    How should a good Muslim behave? Go online to find out
    An official website will provide ‘official’ fatwās on various topics under the supervision of Saudi Arabia’s Council of Senior Ulema. Readers can ask their own questions.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    The persecution of Catholics during the Cultural Revolution

    Sergio Ticozzi

    The documentation of that violent period was burned or buried in archives. Only a few survivors speak. The persecutors are silent in fear. The burning of religious objects and furnishings in Hebei. Bishops humiliated and arrested in Henan; nuns beaten with sticks and killed, or buried alive. A persecution that "is not over yet"; Today it is perhaps only more subtle.


    CHINA
    Silence shrouds 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution in China and in the West

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The bloody campaign launched by Mao Zedong killed nearly 2 million people and sent  a further 4 million to concentration camps. Every Chinese has been marked by fear. But today, no memorial service has been planned and no newspaper article has appeared. The Party’s internal struggles and Xi Jinping’s fear of ending up like the USSR. Even today, as then, there are those in Europe who keep quiet and laud the myth of China. Many are predicting a return to the "great chaos".

     


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®