When many in the West hear the word fatwa, their minds immediately turn to the infamous one issued against Salman Rushdie. The very word conjures up dark images, but in fact a fatwa is simply a ruling by a mufti on a particular subject, which can range from the important (marriage), to the mundane (types of shoes). Thankfully, some fatwas come along to help put the word in a less scary light:
“A Bollywood actor has had a fatwa issued against him for allowing Madame Tussaud’s in London to make his image in wax. Salman Khan, star of more than 50 movies, unveiled the statue himself last week and described it as an honour. Most Indians would agree, but Mufti Salim Ahmad Qasmi, a Muslim cleric in India, said the statue is illegal according to the Sharia, which forbids depictions of all living creatures, Mohammed in particular.
The Dioband Seminary which the mufti runs has already issued a fatwa against Khan for dancing at a Hindu festival last month. The actor says his “bad boy” image is to blame as fellow Muslim and even bigger star Shah Rukh Khan is also in the wax museum and hasn’t been singled out.”
Shah Rukh Khan was not included in the fatwa because the person who complained to the mufti about the waxwork of Salman Khan did not realise that Shah Rukh Khan’s statue was in there as well (the full story is in the Times of India print edition).
Other Indian Muslim stars have also faced such rulings in the past, especially Sania Mirza:
Miss Mirza has had to face repeated calls about the length of
his her skirt, as well as her decision to play doubles with an Israeli. These sort of idiotic rulings demonstrate what can happen when clerics try to micromanange people’s religion.
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