Sunday, 23 February 2014

Islam and Space Travel

This past week....it got out that Muslims are under a fatwa (general Muslim order....kinda like a four-star general's direct order)....that says if you are Muslim....you can't travel to Mars.

Yeah....I had to read the various articles several times to grasp the whole deal.

It appears that some committee got inolved in this....from the United Arab Emirates.  The Committee of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment.

Their general comment on the negative to flying on such a mission....was that it would be like committing suicide, and that's one of those top ten things that Muslim cannot do.  I stopped at that point....reading it carefully.  What they tend to mean....if you were on a Jihad mission and dying was the end-result (guaranteed).....then that's not suicide, thus acceptable.  Going to Mars....is a dead-end street....thus committing suicide.

As the Quran got written....there was this verse in it that had the consequence of telling folks....don't go around killing yourself or another.  However, like the Bible....it later goes on to offer Jihad as a method of killing yourself or another, if in the interest of the religion.

So I sat and pondered over this.

I kinda noted that Star Trek....through all these episodes that I've seen....never featured an Islamic character.  Chief reason?  Well...I'd come to say that they took this Quran rule to fact, and no Muslim guys could go boldly off into the star system with Captain Kirk, Captain Picard, or Captain Janeway.  With this logic, it makes sense.

I would speculate that this fatwa will hold steady....until some Prophet or Mullah comes up....voices the idea that it's not really a big deal to travel through space and dissolves the fatwa.  Some anti-space Mullahs would then stand up and say "no way", and continue the fatwa on a different level.

How many Muslims have aspired to be astronauts or travel like Captain Kirk?  It'd be an interesting question to pose.  I doubt if there's ever been a Star Trek convention in Iran or Libya, or for that matter....Saudi Arabia.  Maybe it's not a big deal within Arab countries.  Maybe they get more into Kojack, Bay Watch, or Gunsmoke episodes...than Star Trek.

How did this come up with this committee there in the United Arab Emirates?  Well....that's the curious thing.  Some guy must have posed the silly question, and the committee spent six hours sipping tea and discussing the impact of such a topic, and just said let's issue a fatwa on this.  Maybe.  Stranger things have happened in life.