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Islam versus cat photos

I know, I’m busy today, but I absolutely love this Daily Mail headline:

Senior Saudi cleric bans taking photographs of cats in a bid to stop people trying ‘to be like Westerners’

Thank you Instapundit.

In the great conflict between Islam and human decency, it is easy to forget that often the bad guys feel overwhelmed and overrun by the opposition too.

The West is, as I write, being flooded with potential terrorists. All it takes is for a tiny few of these Muslims and/or their progeny to take seriously what their horrible holy writings say and we face a potential fight to the death. Calling Islam a “religion of peace” is, for the time being anyway, not working very well. It only seems to embolden the terrorists. But would the rulers of the West describing Islam more accurately be any sort of improvement? Maybe. But, that would be to tell terrorists that they are right about Islam. (Which they are.) That would be to tell Muslims that they are obliged by their religion to be as nasty to the rest of us as they can contrive to be. (Which they are.) That would be to tell Muslims that if they don’t want to behave like that or think like that, they should stop being Muslims. (Which they should.) Problems, problems.

But meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, the great abomination that is cat photos is overwhelming everything that Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh considers to be right and proper. It must be stopped! People pointing out what a bucket of evil nonsense the Koran is, that he can handle. That he is used to. But cats! People taking pictures of cats! The horror!

Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh is never going to win this one.

LATER: Actually, I don’t think anything was said about cat photos on the internet. Simply taking photos of cats (and various other animals) was itself forbidden. I have taken the liberty of correcting this posting, originally entitled “Islam versus cat photos on the internet” accordingly. Apologies for the mistake. Apologies in particular to commenter “the other rob”, whose comment about the internet is made a bit of a nonsense of.

Just taking photos of cats will be even harder to stamp out.

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43 comments to Islam versus cat photos

  • Paul Marks

    I am a bit confused by this.

    I can understand why the Sheikh would want to kill me.

    After all I reject the claims of Muhammed that he got messages from God.

    And I have accused Muhammed of various crimes.

    But what has the Sheikh got against cats?

    Muhammed liked cats – he was very clear on this point.

    And the prohibition against images is against images of GOD.

    Not images of cats.

    People (well most people) do not worship cats as Gods.

    The Sheikh is just being silly.

  • Mr Ed

    And yet the West fawns and cringes before these types.

    Cats are just the thin end of the wedge, and there may be some latent paganism nearby in Egypt.

    The same guy also issued a fatwa against chess as it promoted gambling. Are you sure he isn’t working for the UK Department of Health just thinking up things to ban? He seems to have a fertile mind.

  • Alsadius

    Every religion has awful bits. If you’re not an awful person, you ignore those. There’s no “real” version of a religion, just what people do.

  • PeterT

    Nobody let Nicola know about this one, ok? If you let slip it will either be banned or mandatory by next Wednesday.

  • Greytop

    I was a little confused at first, thinking the man was objecting to the musical Cats, which I can understand a little. I much prefer West Side Story.

  • the other rob

    As Sarah Hoyt remarked, the Internet replied “I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t do that.”

  • This is a very problematic post. How on earth anyone can get away with saying these inflammatory things about Muslims on a libertarian blog is beyond me. Associating Islam with terrorism, with ethnocentrism, with criminal behaviour? In 2016? This sort of needlessly provocative hate-filled speech, with its demonstrably false assumptions about a peaceful religion, is totally unacceptable. I hope the editor of this libertarian blog gives you your marching orders, Brian.

  • Mr Ed

    Rocco,

    Brian may be a long-term ‘sleeper’ agent of the Cats Protection League, I think he is using this blog as cover. If you go to his house, and find him curled up asleep in the airing cupboard, that’ll be proof enough for me.

  • Mr Ed

    And I am sure that Brian has nothing to do with the website promoting ‘Cats that look like Hitler’, which presumably are also subject to this fatwa.

  • NickM

    I don’t have a cat that looks like Hitler. He only behaves like Hitler. He likes his Lebensraum. Usually my wife’s laptop. It’s his Sudetenland.

  • NickM

    My favourite quote from the comments on the Cats That look Like Hitler site is this piece of genius…

    “You guys are horrible! You should be ashamed of yourselves! This siteis completely vile. What do you think gives you the right to make funof one of the world’s greatest strategist in the history of time (asidefrom the right to free speech, don’t give me that jargin, though, asmuch as I contradicted myself). I hope you all fall into a chamberthat’s possibly filled with gas!!
    – Barney”

  • Laird

    “Earlier this year, the kingdom’s top religious cleric ruled that chess was forbidden for Muslims because it was a ‘waste of time’ and promoted gambling.”

    Well, I suppose the “waste of time” bit is debatable, but “promotes gambling”? Right, chess tournaments are hotbeds of gambling, as anyone who has attended one surely knows.

    It seems that being grossly and utterly ignorant about anything other than (perhaps) the Koran is a prerequisite to becoming a “top Muslim cleric.”

    I did like that photo of him, though. It looks like he’s snorting a line of coke. (And the eyes suggest that it wasn’t his first!)

  • Gene

    If we could just get a large number of people to mail this guy some [used] cat litter …

  • Mr Ed

    I suppose that this fatwa doesn’t apply to Cat Stevens?

  • J.M. Heinrichs

    Laird
    According to his Wiki bio, he can be explained:
    “Since his birth he suffered from weak eyesight, until he lost his sight altogether in 1960.”

    Cheers

  • Laird

    JMH, if you’re trying to shame me into feeling remorse that I made fun of his physical infirmity, it’s not going to work. Whatever the reason, he does look like he’s been snorting coke, and his statements lend credence to that hypothesis. And that’s especially true if he can’t even see the cat photos he’s banning. So I repeat my thesis that not knowing what you’re talking about is a prerequisite to becoming a “top Muslim cleric”.

  • JohnK

    If this fellow is the top muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia, which is the real islamic state, it must follow that he is the top muslim cleric in the world. He is the big swinging dick of muslim clerics. And it therefore follows from this that, if he is the best they’ve got, islam is a truly retarded belief system. I hesitate even to call it a religion. They got nothing. Apart from violence, of course. They have lots of that. So does the Carlo Gambino crime family, and they’re not a religion either.

  • Achillea

    Right, chess tournaments are hotbeds of gambling, as anyone who has attended one surely knows.

    Well, there was that one night in Bangkok …

  • Roue le Jour

    The book says no worshiping graven images. Islam interprets this fairly widely so representations of God’s creation are also prohibited, hence the geometric patterns.

    You just wait until you get to the afterlife, Abdul old boy, and have to explain yourself to Bastet. Where will your god be then, eh?

  • Mr Ed

    Having been once in my youth to a chess tournament, long before computers could outplay humans, I would think that it actually would lend itself splendidly to ‘spread-betting’, you could bet on the next move in a game or even the time between moves. The thing about highest level chess then was that for the very best player, it would likely that no one would have any idea of what his decisive move would be, as thinking it up first is basically how he got to be the best (I simplify). As Tal said, his plan was to lead his opponent into a dark forest where there was only one route out, and to try to find that path first.

    However, the sort of people who actually go to chess tournaments would scarcely be the sort to bet.

  • bobby b

    Down in a mosque basement, somewhere in Saudi Arabia, a blind cleric listens as his helper finishes reading aloud his Twitter feed which has exploded in derision. The cleric begins furiously beating his helper with his cane.

    “Cats? They were taking pictures of CATS?! You told me they were taking pictures of pussies!? . . . Oh, tell them all never mind.”

  • bobby b

    On a more serious note, I believe that this is the first website to ever use the words “hotbed” and “chess” together in a sentence.

  • Patrick Crozier

    To paraphrase H L Mencken: “Islamism: that haunting feeling that someone, somewhere might be happy.”

  • “Cats? They were taking pictures of CATS?! You told me they were taking pictures of pussies!? . . . Oh, tell them all never mind.”

    God rest Mollie Sugden’s soul….

  • the other rob

    No need to apologise, Brian. The Internet is implicit in any discussion of cat photos.

  • Thailover

    “Simply taking photos of cats (and various other animals) was itself forbidden.”

    Not much different than the 2nd Commandment.

    Exodus 20:4-6
    Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
    Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    (…Unless your name is Job, in which case god will tell the devil to rip your head off and shit down your neck precisely because you are the one person on earth who least deserves it….and to impress the devil of course.)

    Remember that this mindset is from the day when “cursing” was to speak bad words, (because words and thoughts were magic), and “swearing” was to base the authenticity of B on the virtue and reputation of A, and if B turned out to be shit, then this is thought to magically harm A, even in reputation only. This is why gospel Jesus said to not swear by the heavens or god….but rather just say yea yea, or nay, nay. (Mat 5:33-37).

    To make a “graven image” (a carving) or even your 5yr old drawing a picture of a fish with crayons is supposed to give it power in this world, because depictions, representations, thoughts, words and even looks (as in the evil eye) are supposed to have magical powers. And to the fanatics and cowards, anything said to distract you from worshiping god 24/7/365.25 is supposed to be “evil”. It’s viewed as idolatry.

    And even today in christianity, there is the meme of “speaking it into existence”, which smacks of more than the power of positive thinking, but has an actual magical element about it.

  • Thailover

    JohnK wrote,

    “islam is a truly retarded belief system. I hesitate even to call it a religion.”

    It isn’t a mere religion, it’s a theocracy of the worst order.

  • Thailover

    “Cats? They were taking pictures of CATS?! You told me they were taking pictures of pussies!? . . . Oh, tell them all never mind.”

    Spending one’s time taking pictures of cats is rather than kissing a carpet with one’s ass in the air and facing the magical direction is deemed profanity, because the word profane literally means before or outside the temple. Precisely because depicting or even making ‘graven images of’ cats is not part of their religious nutjobbery, it’s dubbed a form of idolatry and therefore evil.

    I’ve never met a religion that wasn’t patently ridiculous.

  • Thailover

    Chess, never before has so much brainpower been expended towards something so utterly pointless.
    (And yes, I used to play).

  • Thailover

    “There’s no “real” version of a religion, just what people do.”

    Well, there’s these things called religious tomes, and unless it’s written in some primative vague shit languge like primiative Arabic or Hebrew, they’re usually pretty definitive.

    But seriously, who would invent a written language that didn’t depict vowels? That’s retarded.

  • Not much different than the 2nd Commandment.

    Indeed. However, the world has moved on since then. Not least, we’ve invented cameras and many of us have got over bronze-age superstition.

    I shall now go out and take some pictures of my cats…

  • Thailover

    Exodus 20:4-6
    Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

    From the linked article:
    But the sheikh, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, added: Taking pictures is prohibited if not for a necessity. Not with cats, not with dogs, not with wolves, not with anything.”

    Same shit, different day.

  • Q: What’s black and brown and looks good on a mullah?

    A: A Doberman.

  • J.M. Heinrichs

    Laird
    1. “In the interests of accuracy …”
    2. I fully agree with you.

    Cheers

  • Sceptical Antagonist

    “Simply taking photos of cats (and various other animals) was itself forbidden.”

    I know a lot of the older Saudis don’t want their photos taken – as they still believe their souls will be captured – but I don’t see how that applies to cats? …unless of course they are secret buddhists…

  • Eric

    Jerry Pournelle calls this sort of stuff the West’s weapons of cultural mass destruction.

  • JohnK

    but I don’t see how that applies to cats? …unless of course they are secret buddhists…

    Cats have their own belief systems, which we are not allowed to know. It is better that way.

  • Cats have their own belief systems, which we are not allowed to know. It is better that way.

    All you need to know is that it involves world domination.

  • JohnK

    You’re not supposed to know that!

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Paul Marks
    May 27, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    And the prohibition against images is against images of GOD.

    Not images of cats.

    People (well most people) do not worship cats as Gods.

    Ah, but who do the cats worship?

  • You’re not supposed to know that!

    I speak Cat.

    Ah, but who do the cats worship?

    Ceiling Cat.

  • Alisa

    Paul, the prohibition of images is not only of God, but of God’s creations. There was a similar prohibition in Judaism that was observed for many years in many communities. It’s a religion, and religions often present their followers with weird requirements. As long as it is consensual and non-violent, it should be nobody’s business but the followers. I just don’t get why everyone is so worked up about this cats stuff of all things, and in Islam of all religions.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Alisa
    May 29, 2016 at 10:34 pm
    I just don’t get why everyone is so worked up about this cats stuff of all things, and in Islam of all religions.

    Well, murdering people is one thing, but this kind of loose talk could lead to murdering cats, and that’s serious.