Top Saudi cleric: Kill immoral satellite TV channel owners

Chairman of Saudi Judiciary Council apparently refers to Arab TV stations broadcasting mini-series and soap operas during Ramadan.

September 14, 2008 15:00
Top Saudi cleric: Kill immoral satellite TV channel owners

noor 88. (photo credit: )

Owners of Arab satellite TV channels are expressing concern over a statement made by one of Saudi Arabia's top religious clerics, the Saudi online paper Arab News reported. "Those calling for fitna [Arabic for civil strife, or temptation]… it is permissible to kill them," chairman of the Saudi Arabian Supreme Judiciary Council, Sheikh Salih A-Lahidan, said during a radio show, when asked about channels broadcasting "immoral programs" during the holy month of Ramadan. "It is legitimate to kill those who encourage corruption in faith…if their evil cannot be stopped by other penalties," added A-Lahidan. The cleric did not specify which channels or programs triggered his harsh comment. During Ramadan, Arab and Muslim satellite TV stations broadcast mini-series and soap operas, which receive high ratings. One such popular - though controversial - series was MBC's Nour. Originally produced in Turkey, the series depicted the story of two young, unmarried lovers, who struggled to reconcile the conflicting pressures of the traditional and modern worlds. The series received high ratings across the Arab world and in Saudi Arabia in particular. However, it has also angered the country's Grand Mufti, who described it as subversive and anti-Islamic.

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