Saudi clerics urge faithful to shun 'Islamic' superhero series

Saudi Arabia's top clerics declare Islam-inspired cartoon series 'work of the devil' that Muslims should not watch.


Afp March 25, 2014
Saudi Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al Sheikh. PHOTO: AFP

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's top clerics have declared an Islam-inspired cartoon series, which earned praise from US President Barack Obama, a "work of the devil" that Muslims should not watch.

The television version of superhero comic book "The 99" is being aired by Saudi-owned satellite channel MBC3, based in Dubai in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates.

But in a religious decree carried by Saudi websites on Monday, the clerics ruled the series blasphemous because the superheroes of its title are based on the 99 attributes ascribed to Allah in the Holy Quran.

"The 99 is a work of the devil that should be condemned and forbidden in respect to Allah's names and attributes," the clerics, led by the kingdom's mufti, Abdulaziz al Sheikh, said.

The original comic strip version, first released in 2006, had already ran into opposition from Muslims not only in Saudi Arabia but also in neighbouring Kuwait, where it was created and produced by media executive Nayef al Matawa.

The comics - produced in English as well as Arabic - won praise, however, not only from Obama but also from Kuwait's emir, Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed al Sabah, for their message of moderation and cultural dialogue.

They have been sold around the world and have also spawned a merchandise range and a theme park in Kuwait as well as the Arabic-language television series.

Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia applies a strict version of Islam.

COMMENTS (15)

Taalib | 7 years ago | Reply

I am pleased with the Shaykh's comment and I consider myself one of the faithful and Allaah Knows Best. You people shouldn't talk about what you don't understand. You have no respect for your own beliefs and maybe your atheist anyway, but this does not constitute free disrespect or blasphemy of a religion. Just because your very so called liberal minded does not make you right. You need to stop playing like you people are so free spirited and liberal when many peoples in the so-called Free World (Western non-Muslim countries) are violated everyday.

ali | 7 years ago | Reply

It is still better than Iran where Khomenites basically choose (not just recommend) what Iranian public can and cannot watch on TV

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