Cartoons Get a Fatwa From Islamists

Clerics deem all animation against the religion

Scooby Doo
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

An Islamic seminary school in India has issued a decree against cartoons, calling them contrary to the religion.

The Darul Uloom in Deoband, Uttar Pradesh, which is known for its fatwas, said that as cartoons are pictures, watching them on TV would be against Islam, according to the Deccan Herald newspaper.

“(A) cartoon is a picture. Besides, it is not for the children. It should not be watched,” said senior cleric Arif Qasmi in answer to a question from a Pakistani.

According to some of the strictest interpretations of Islamic law, the religion bans visual representation of all living beings as imitation of God’s creation, and several clerics agreed with the Darul Uloom’s edict.

However a number of others, including the All India Muslim Personal Law board, criticized the fatwa. According to board member Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali: “I don’t think the muftis who issued the fatwa have any knowledge of the subject or have applied their mind to understanding the art of cartoons at all.”

Darul Uloom, which contains a department dedicated to issuing fatwas, has in the past opposed the use of perfumes with alcohol, jeans and tattoos.

No word on what the Darul Uloom thinks of computer-generated imagery.