Mickey Mouse must die for the good of Islam, a
leading Saudi cleric said last month in a broadcast on al-Majd TV.
On Aug 27 Sheikh Muhammad Al-Munajid told viewers of
a religious affairs programme that mice were agents of Satan and that Sharia
law called for the extermination of all mice: from the common house mouse (Mus
musculus) to cartoon mouse (Mickey Mouse).
A former diplomat attached to the Islamic Affairs Department at the Saudi
embassy Washington, al-Munajid appears regularly on Saudi television to discuss
religious and ethical topics.
On Aug 10 he denounced the Beijing Olympics as the “bikini Olympics,” saying
the immodest dress of women athletes was “satanic” and earlier issued a fatwa,
or religious edict, against women’s participation in the Olympics as the games
were also “satanic”.
Al-Munajid’s aversion to sports is not new. In 2005 he denounced soccer, saying
the short pants worn by players “reveal nakedness.” He called for a ban on
women’s sports and public exercise as to do so would require them to don “tight
fitting, short” tunics that were offensive to Muslim decorum.
According to a translation of the broadcast prepared by the Middle East Media
Research Institute, al-Munajid was asked to state the Islamic legal teaching on
mice. He responded that mice were called “little corrupters” in Sharia and it
was permissible to kill them at all times.
“The mouse is one of Satan's soldiers and is steered by him,” he explained,
adding that should a mouse come in contact with food, the food must be disposed
of as the mouse is an impure creature.
“According to Islamic law, the mouse is a repulsive, corrupting creature,”
al-Munajid said, adding that he was concerned that popular culture had given
mice an undeserved positive image.
“How do you think children view mice today – after Tom and Jerry?” he asked.
“Even creatures that are repulsive by nature, by logic, and according to
Islamic law have become wonderful and are loved by children. Even mice. Mickey
Mouse has become an awesome character, even though according to Islamic law,
Mickey Mouse should be killed in all cases.”