fatwa on infotainment (gossip shows) and sex change operations, stating that both are prohibited under Islam. I would like to say wake up and smell the coffee, but I am reluctant to remind them that they almost banned Luwak Coffee last week. It is probably best not to give them any ideas, heaven forbid they will be issuing a fatwa next week banning the MUI.
According to the crotchety old men at the MUI responsible for this silliness, it is forbidden for Muslims to gossip. The rationale is that gossiping requires Muslims to expose the private details and lives of others in the public domain. Ah, yes it does. Good one fellas, you worked that one out all by yourself. Now, some gossip is indeed factual.
Not satisfied with banning gossip, the MUI has gone the whole nine yards and stated that profiting from infotainment or gossip is haram. What? So, if a company advertises during an infotainment show then it has broken some law in Islam? Wow. Nevertheless, it appears that there are some exceptions, albeit very limited. If the gossip is to warn people then it is permitted, it is mubah. Presumably this means that gossip such as the recent Nazriel "Ariel" Irham, Luna Maya, and Cut Tari videos would fall under this exception as the gossip clearly highlights the dangers of filming yourself bonking your brains out.
My guess would be that the MUI would have been better issuing a fatwa about defamation, slander, and libel. But, no matter, anything that the MUI issues is not legally binding on Indonesian citizens. Indonesians cannot be worldly punished for ignoring the silly fatwas issued by the MUI. It all comes down to whether Indonesians truly believe that the MUI is the sole interpreter of God's words on Indonesian soil. If not, then fatwa away boys!
What is truly funny about this whole infotainment fatwa was that the MUI had intended to discuss welfare issues, but dropped welfare in favour of outlawing gossip shows. This clearly shows that the MUI cares more about populist issues and getting their names in print than they do about the religious care of their flocks.
The other fatwas issued covered the trade in organs and marriages of convenience. I am an organ donor. The fatwa prohibits the poor kampung fellow from selling a kidney to a rich Singaporean willing to pay USD 50K. However, it does not prohibit organ transplants And, it does not prohibit Muslims from receiving a non-Muslim organ. Although, any transplant does need to be witnessed by two Muslim doctors. I wonder how a Muslim would feel about getting a kidney from a Jew? Interestingly, the fatwa considers animal to human transplants and canvasses the idea of transplants from unclean animals in an emergency situation.
The final worthy mention is the fatwa on sex change operations. Once again, there is an exception here; sound medical reasons. Any takers on "sound medical reasons"? This must require a diagnosis from a psychologist along the lines of, "yes, he was born male, but he identifies only as a woman."
No apologies for the length. The point probably could have been made this way:
These fatwas are unnecessary as Indonesians are more than capable of working out these issues on their own and without the involvement of the MUI.
I wonder when the MUI will get around to issuing a fatwa banning the FPI?