The Daily Outrage


Today’s Daily Outrage courtesy of Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan, member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, and what everyone on the Internet has already called a catwa:

A senior Saudi cleric has banned taking photographs of cats in a bid to stop people trying ‘to be like Westerners’.

Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan issued the order after being told of a new trend of animal lovers posing for pictures with their pets.

After being informed of the craze, he said during a televised broadcast: ‘What?! What do you mean pictures with cats? Taking pictures is prohibited. The cats don’t matter here.’

Earlier he had been told how ‘a new trend of taking pictures with cats has been spreading among people who want to be like Westerners’.

But the sheikh, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, added: ‘Taking pictures is prohibited if not for a necessity. Not with cats, not with dogs, not with wolves, not with anything.’

So while I was initially quite outraged, I’m less so now. The Sheik is not actually picking on cats as such – under Islam cats have a much higher status than dogs anyway – he just doesn’t like photography in general. Now, I’m not a fan of the Mosaic, Orthodox Iconoclast, Calvinist/Puritan and Islamic prohibition on images of live things as I think such prohibition impoverishes our human existence, but at least it’s a relatively victimless proscription, unlike, say, slicing off a little girl’s clitoris, pushing a gay man of a tall building, or preventing a woman from driving or for that matter educating herself.

Still, be that as it may, I’m waiting for a counter-fatwa by the Grumpy Cat.