Following are excerpts from an interview with Syrian-born Saudi cleric Muhammad Al-Munajid, which aired on Iqra TV on November 6, 2008.
Interviewer: Arab and Western media accused you of issuing a fatwa about the killing of Mickey Mouse. What is your response to the people of East and West?
Muhammad Al-Munajid: I never issued a fatwa about the killing of Mickey Mouse. Nobody asked me for a ruling with regard to Mickey Mouse, and I did not say that it is permissible or necessary to kill Mickey Mouse. None of this ever happened. I was talking about the effect of films on people, how they are used for Christian proselytizing, for spreading atheism, for spreading witchcraft, like in the case of Harry Potter, and for arousing urges, which make people dissatisfied with their spouses. One thing led to another, until we got to the issue of cartoons and their effect. I said that some cartoon characters, such as dogs, pigs, and mice – reprehensible animals according to the Shari’a - are glorified in animated films. I said that it is inappropriate to show such things to people, and that a mouse is a “little corrupter,” which should be killed in all cases. I mentioned Mickey Mouse, or that Jerry, by way of example only. Nobody who knows Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character would ever issue a fatwa that it should be killed. It can only be killed in the world of fantasies, movies, and dreams.
Along came the MEMRI website – that is, memri.net – which is a Jewish website run by a Mossad officer, which monitors... Even this show of yours is monitored, and they take excerpts from it.
Interviewer: What site is that?
Muhammad Al-Munajid: Memri.net. M-E-M-R-I.net.
Interviewer: What is that site?
Muhammad Al-Munajid: This is a Jewish website that monitors what the religious preachers say. Once I said that a woman must obey her husband, that if he calls her to bed she must consent, or else the angels will curse her, and that she must come to him even if she is cooking by the stove – all in accordance with the Prophet’s hadiths. The [MEMRI] website took my words and wrote: “Rape of Wives”...
They took an excerpt about Mickey Mouse... Then it was aired by four huge global TV networks – ABC, BBC, Fox News, and CNN. In other words, it was viewed by 350 million people. Some of them put the collapsing WTC building as background to the Mickey Mouse fatwa. They drew a connection between terrorism and what I said.
Interviewer: How did the networks get the material, through MEMRI?
Muhammad Al-Munajid: The MEMRI website presented many excerpts. Who provided MEMRI with the material? Only God knows, but we know for sure that there is always a connection between the “hypocrites” and their brothers, the infidels from among the People of the Book. It says so in the Koran, and there is no doubt about it.
My complaint is not directed towards them. After all, they are our enemies, and we understand why they do this. Their behavior is understandable. What I don’t understand is how some Muslims, when asked: “What’s your view on the Mickey Mouse fatwa?” can say: “This is a distortion of Islam. This fatwa must be revoked.” Brother, what is the source for what you say? Go to the individual in question, and ask him: “Did you issue this fatwa”? Nobody asked me. They jumped to conclusions...
Interviewer: This is why we invited you to Iqra TV – so you can tell the truth to Muslims.
Muhammad Al-Munajid: Fine. What was the source of all these commentators? Western networks. Brother, Allah said: “You who believe! If an evil-doer comes to you with a report, look carefully into it.” All the more so when the source of the report is an infidel. Infidels! Their direct sources are the infidels! They took the report, inflated it, published it, generalized it, and so on. They said that issuing fatwas must be restricted, that this fatwa is damaging to Islam... Brother, did you call the individual in question to ask if he actually issued such a fatwa?
Interviewer: So we ask you: Did you issue such a fatwa?
Muhammad Al-Munajid: As I said before, this never happened.
They want a form of Islam that will not terrify the enemies, but such a thing is impossible, because Allah said: “The Jews and Christians will not be pleased with you until you follow their religion.” No form of Islam can please the enemies. Don’t even go there, brothers. It’s a done deal. No form of Islam can please the enemies.