This Is No Joke: New Fatwa Prohibits Building Snowmen in Saudi Arabia

A Saudi having coffee with snowman. Photograph shared by @Aalthekair on Twitter

A Saudi having coffee with snowman. Photograph shared by @Aalthekair on Twitter

A Saudi cleric decreed that building snowmen and snow camels is not acceptable in Islam. Many saw the fatwa (religious edict), by Mohamed Saleh Al Minijed, as a kill joy, particularly after Saudis in the northern part of the country started sharing photographs of their artistic snow creations online.

According to the fatwa, published on Al Minijed's webpage, all those who make sculptures would be punished. He says snowmen are forbidden because they try to “replicate human beings, with eyes, a nose and a head.” He adds that if people insist on building snowmen, then they should be headless.

The fatwa concludes:

“It is forbidden to make sculptures out of snow, even if it is for fun and entertainment. God has given people a choice to build whatever they want, provided it is without a soul, like trees, ships, fruit, buildings and the like.”

Saudi blogger Ahmed Al Omran is quick to remind us that this same clergyman had actually earlier called for killing Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse:

That was back in 2008, when Minijed called for killing all rodents, including Mickey Mouse, during a television interview.

This did not stop Saudis from sharing their snow creations online. On Twitter, Arwa Flemban shares two photographs, one of a camel and the other of a snowman:

Another user, who goes by the name Om Bsayl3bl, shows us what happens when Saudis build snowmen:

And Ahmed Althekair shares a photograph of a snowman and a snow woman and pronounces them husband and wife:

Palestinian blogger Iyad El-Baghdadi describes Minijed as a “buzzkill.” In a series of tweets, he writes:

And needless to say the fatwa did not go well with all Saudis.

Fashion Slave notes:

While some people are busy with what's happened in France and others with the Golden Globe, suddenly a clergyman comes up with a fatwa which says that building snowmen is forbidden. Get back into your hole. You just want to steal the limelight

Ms Abeer is exasperated everything is banned in Saudi Arabia. She says:

Everything in this country is banned. It will eventually melt. You just don't want us to have fun. Now we should make headless snowmen so that they become happy

Another user tries to reason:

What? Who issued the fatwa that building snowmen is forbidden? Have mercy on us please. You have forbidden everything. Religion is not like this. And what's the harm in it for you to forbid it. It is just entertainment.

If building snowmen is frowned upon in Saudi Arabia, one wonders what will happen to those who reportedly dared build one in Ar-Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the IS, in Syria. Photographs floating online show us a snowman waving the IS flag:

A snowman allegedly in Ar-Raqqa in Syria

A snowman allegedly in Ar-Raqqa in Syria


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