Shaikh Abdul Aziz Alu Al Sheikh:
If you desire entertainment you haven’t been reading enough Qur’anH/T: Gates of ViennaCinema and theatre contrary to Islam, says Saudi grand mufti
Such activities distract people from their work and prevent them from achieving professional success. Saudi society is increasingly showing signs of strains between a very conservative religious leadership and youth who want greater openness and freedom. In eight days more than 25,000 Saudis attend screening of Saudi-made comedy.[…]
Theatrical performance, whether it is a cinema or a song, would generally make an impression that is against Sharia. People need only those (art forms) that are useful to them to change their way of life (in an Islamic manner),” he decreed.
Last year the Grand Mufti issued an edict, in which he slammed Turkish soap operas like ‘Nour’ and ‘The Last Years,’ the hottest shows on Arab TV, describing them as “so much evil” that “they destroy people’s ethics and are against our values.”
The mufti’s pronouncements are however a sign that Saudi society is increasingly split between a ruling establishment made up of very conservative clerics who espoused strict adherence to Islamic precepts and a broader group of more liberal-oriented young Saudis who want greater openness, more freedom for women and a greater range of entertainment.
Like young people across the Middle East young Saudis routinely go online which gives them access to US action movies, but they cannot go to the movies, an issue that is still taboo.