Calamity Averted: Mickey Mouse Not an Agent of Satan
Calamity averted indeed.
An Egyptian Muslim scholar has called for an end to risible religious edicts after a Saudi cleric said Mickey Mouse was an agent of Satan who should die, local media reported on Wednesday.
Sheikh Mohamed al-Munajid, a cleric who often appears on Saudi television and who is also a former Saudi diplomat in the United States, said last week that mice were “agents of Satan” and should be killed.
“Sharia (Islamic law) calls for the extermination of all mice. That includes the rodents as well as ‘the famous cartoon mouse’,” he said.
He blamed Mickey Mouse for causing people to become soft on mice.
However, Suad Saleh, a woman preacher who hosts a popular television programme on fatwas, or religious edicts, told the English-language daily Egyptian Gazette that Munajid’s ruling “tarnishes Islam’s image.”
“An edict should be based on knowledge, logic and reason,” she said. “Yes, mice should be killed when seen according to Islam’s teachings. But it is illogical to deal with a cartoon character as a live mouse and kill it.”
So are we going to see a rush of mouse killers outside as well as inside KSA? And what about bonfires fed by Disney memorabilia? Does anybody remember the picture of Mickey Mouse flipping the bird and saying, “Hey, Ayatollah!”? These are a few of the flashes that went through my mind when I read this absurdity, but it all settled on the dim memory of one passage in Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China in which Jung Chang mentions Mao’s call to kill all vermin (I think it was a species of birds?). It resulted in overpopulation of their natural prey because citizens had been all too happy to oblige the Mao madness.
I do realise all groups have their nutjobs. What I’m disturbed at is how many people actually follow their advice. No word yet on how the general public is responding to this fatwa, which might be overshadowed by the news that British plumbers and purveyors of bathroom fixtures seem set to have a lot of new business.
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