The anti-fat fatwa is not a joke for buffet lovers in Saudi Arabia

new fatwa against gluttonySaudi cleric Saleh al Fawzan has decided that all-you-can-eat buffets are against Sharia (Islamic) law, unappetizing news for Muslims devoted to bargain dining deals!

Last week there was a fatwa to ban the killing of wild animals. This week he issued a fatwa (a legal opinion concerning Islam) that bans bellying up to the salad bar and closes the kitchen on breakfast buffets too.

The cleric said that the value and quantity of what is sold should be predetermined before it is purchased.

“Whoever enters the buffet and eats after paying, but without first deciding the quantity they will eat, is violating Sharia law,” said Fawzan on the al-Atheer channel. His action would be better argued if he linked it with Saudi’s obsession with Western fast food and ballooning obesity problem; criticized all-you-can-eat behavior for it’s damaging impact to bodies rather than souls.

It seems for every fatwa with a powerful message about man’s relationship with the environment, there are a dozen that are delightfully dopey. One put a hit on Mickey Mouse, another made emoticons haram.  Women seem to get the brunt of these rulings – banning them from ocean swimming and prohibiting them from touching or eating phallic-shaped fruits (like this erotic eggplant) and vegetables like cucumbers and bananas.

With Saudis among the heaviest users of social media, it’s no surprise that the all-you-can-eat announcement fast earned its own hashtag (“prohibiting-open-buffet” in Arabic) and caused a Twitter buzz.

Al Arabiya reported a few of the tweets:

“Restaurants will be ruined if they didn’t quantify the food they sold. This negates the sheikh’s premise that the quantity is unknown,” said one Twitter user.

“This is not Qur’an, just a mere fatwa, if you want to follow it, you are a free man – but you cannot impose it on others,” wrote another.

Looking for a new hobby?  Why not follow fatwas? It promises to be increasingly farcical pastime as these Islamic religious edicts are landing all over the ethical map.

Image of buffet table from Shutterstock

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