Islamic scholar issues fatwa banning snowmen

By Aileen Graef  |  Jan. 12, 2015 at 2:54 PM
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A fatwa issued by Saudi religious scholar Mohammad Saleh Al Minjed bans the creation of snowmen, saying it is too western of a practice.

"It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun," said the fatwa.

After a snow storm on the Arabian Peninsula, children started building snow-camels -- a rare incident that inspired the fatwa.

Supporters of the fatwa say the creation of snowmen or snow camels, rather, is a crude imitation of the West.

"It has no value in our traditions, and those who are fascinated by the West should emulate their inventions and sciences, not their culture," said a pro-fatwa blogger.

The camels, built in the northern part of the country, were a nod to the local culture.

"We have snow for fleeting days, maybe even hours, and there is always someone who wants to rob us of the joy and the fun," said opposing blogger Mishaal. "It seems that the only thing left for us is to sit down and drink coffee."

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