Indonesia’s top Islamic clerics are considering issuing a fatwa against Netflix because it is “haram”, meaning sinful, despite admitting they have not yet had a single complaint.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the country’s highest Muslim clerical body, are reportedly willing to declare the popular streaming platform haram if they find it shows content they consider ‘indecent’ and out of line with the religious norms in the country.
The chairman of the council’s fatwa board Hasanuddin said Indonesians should monitor the streaming platform’s content and report anything inappropriate to the MUI.
He said the council were yet to receive any complaints but if anybody demanded a fatwa or objected to Netflix’s content they would “immediately review and make a decision” which “would not take a long time”.
Telkom, Indonesia’s state-owned telecommunications group, have blocked access to Netflix in the country since 2016, claiming the streaming platform does not comply with media content regulations in Indonesia. Other internet service providers in Indonesia allow users to access the streaming site.
Messiah, released this year, has been criticised for its portrayal of Muslims and a Change.org petition has been launched calling for a boycott of the show, describing it as “evil and anti-Islamic propaganda”.
The organisers of the petition wrote: “We have always witnessed the media projecting our faith and religion in the worst way possible and have made it almost impossible to stay strong on our beliefs because of such strong accusations coming our way.
“From branding our religion as a path to terrorism to forcing the tag of prejudice on us . Our faith has always been falsely accused. To make things worse there are series being made on a topic so sensitive on our faith that has made so mamy of us anxious about the end days.
“The new series that are about to be aired on Netflix called “messiah” is all about the end days and the appearance of dajjal, the false god who claims to be the prophet. This show in particular is a full and clear representation of the end days as described in hadiths and in the Qur’an itself.
“You may say it is a non-issue, it’s just a series. But this slow exposure of evil and anti-Islamic propaganda will slowly turn hearts. Muslims are not just the only ones that believe in the Antichrist. This topic is rather sensitive and making a production like this will only have viewers forgetting the fact that this matter is not a joke. “
The MUI are reportedly known to issue fatwas easily, with video game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) being labelled haram by the council as the game affects the players’ “daily lives”.
Fatwas are nonbinding legal opinions on Islamic law given by a qualified expert in Islamic law in response to a question posed by an individual, judge or government.
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