In recent years, a number of fatwas – Islamic religious advisory opinions – have been issued that condemn television. Nearly all of these fatwas come from two Islamic schools of thought, the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia, on the one hand, and the Deobandis from northern India, on the other hand. These two groups differ considerably in regard to their political and religious backgrounds, and this is reflected in the different arguments they bring forward against viewing television and in the conclusions they draw. While the Wahhabis mainly oppose the un-Islamic contents that are broadcast on television, the Deobandis oppose television itself. The article analyses the different arguments brought forward in fatwas of the two groups. It argues that while the Deobandi position against television is likely to change in the near future, fatwas of the Wahhabi type against specific television programs deemed un-Islamic will probably continue to be issued in the years to come.
- Islamic law
- Islamic schools of thought