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the unknown advantages of space exploration


[Saudi Arabia's Ruling Religious Group of] Wahhabi clerics repeatedly issued fatwas [legal opinions issued by qualified Muslim scholars on matters of religious belief and practice] that were not necessarily in keeping with traditional Islam. There were fatwas against women driving, fatwas opposing the telephone, fatwas declaring that the earth was a flat disk and ordering the severe punishment of anyone who believed otherwise.

In 1985, the blind Wahhabi imam Abdul Aziz bin Baz retracted his fatwa punishing people who believed the earth was round after a conversation with Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, the grandson of Ibn Saud. The prince had just been a passenger in the American space shuttle Discovery and told the imam that having been in outer space, he could personally attest that the world was round.

from House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger.

Categories: geopolitics
Posted by diego on September 8 2004 at 6:15 PM

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