Cleric: Biofuel may be sinful for Muslims

Feb. 20, 2009 at 10:17 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- An Islamic scholar in Saudi Arabia said using ethanol or other alcohol-derived fuels in vehicles may be a sin for Muslims.

Sheik Mohamed al-Najimi of the Saudi Islamic Jurisprudence Academy told Saudi newspaper Shams that the prophet Mohammed banned alcohol for all uses -- including buying, selling, carrying and manufacturing, Al-Arabiya reported Friday.

Najimi said Muslims who use biofuel, which is made from fermented plants, in their cars are violating the ban since the substance "is basically made up of alcohol."

The cleric, who said his statements represented only his personal opinion and not an official fatwa, called for further study of the issue by Islamic religious bodies.

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