Mickey Mouse Must Die..or Maybe Not

Mickey MiceMickey Mouse must die, declared a Saudi cleric in a television interview. Or perhaps that is not exactly what he said. Regardless, the interview found its way to television screens and newspaper headlines around the world and bloggers are at loggerheads with the issue. Did the cleric literally mean that Mickey Mouse must die or was it just another ploy to sensationalise and poke fun of anything an Arab and a Muslim utters?

Here's the video:

And here's a parody of reactions from international media:

On the first video, Palestinian Pundit comments:

A Saudi cleric has condemned Disney's lovable cartoon mouse. What could the big-eared rodent possibly have done to offend?

And from Morocco, Myrtus is lost for words and exclaims:

Stupidity beyond belief!

And on the outcry from Western media, Sultan Al Jumeri, from Saudi Arabia, writes:

ليس هناك من جديد في سخرية الإعلام الغربي _والأمريكي بصفة خاصة_ بالتعاليم الإسلامية الصريحة وثقافتنا بشكل عام، فهناك عشرات البرامج والكتابات والأفلام التي تثبت ذلك موجودة متوفرة في كل مكان منذ وقت طويل..! تأريخهم في ” التشويه” ليس حديث اليوم ولا الأمس .. وإنما حديث الماضي البعيد ..!
There is nothing new about the Western media, and particularly the American media, is ridiculing our Islamic doctrines and our culture in general. There are scores of programmes, books and movies which prove this! They have been available everywhere for a long period of time! Their history in tarnishing is not something new .. but something which goes back in time.
ما المشكلة حين يتحدث الشيخ المنجد عن الفأر ويذكر الآحاديث الصحيحة فيه وفي قتله لتكون محل سخرية عند الآخر! مالمشكلة حين نعتبرها مجرد ثقافة ! . الإستهتار بثقافة الآخر في قوانينهم سوء أدب يحتاج الى معاقبه ..! هذا كله ينطبق على جميع الثقافات إلا نحن .. ! لأننا الجانب الأضعف في كل معادلات العالم ..!
What is the problem in Shaikh Al Menjed speaking about mice, and mentioning Hadiths (Prophet's sayings) about them and killing them and why should they be ridiculed by others? What is the problem in having information? Making fun of the cultures of others is considered bad manners which should be met with punishment according to their laws .. but those laws apply to all cultures except ours … because we are the weakest link in all the equations around the world!
لماذا يجب أن نتغير نحن بناء على طلب العم ” سام” .. !
Why should we change based on Uncle Sam's requests?

Jordanian Mohammed Badi has another take on the issue and writes:

الآن جميع قضايا ومشاكل المسلمين تم حلها و الحمد لله ولم يبقى لنا الا ان نطارد الفئران والزواحف:an:…ويبدو انو سبايدر مان وباتمان وتوم وكمان جيري “بلاش الشيخ يزعل” مطلوب القبض عليهم….
Because all the issues and problems facing Muslims have been solved thanks to the Almighty, we are now left with chasing after mice. It seems that Spiderman and Batman and Tom (and Jerry as well) should all be arrested.

Still in Jordan, The Black Iris notes:

Well, it should be pointed out that I think the brief second of hesitation towards the end suggested the he was aware Mickey is a cartoon and so was being somewhat satirical about the killing of him. Because really, how do you kill a cartoon? Stop drawing it? […]
Anyways, the western media has had a field day (week) with this bit of news…

Egyptian Amr Gharbeia makes an interesting footnote on his comment on the video, saying:

الفيديوهات المترجمة كلها من ممري، و هي من خبرتي أفضل من يضع الأخبار عن العرب و المسلمين خارج السياق.
All the translated videos are from MEMRI, and in my experience, they are the best in putting news about Arabs and Muslims out of context.

Global Voices Online Morocco author Jillian York gives us her take on the issue here. She notes:

Some Saudi cleric is answering a question about mice; namely, whether or not they should be killed in the house. It’s a valid religious question that anyone might consider (including PETA), but the cleric goes perhaps a little too far and claims that the presence Tom & Jerry has softened kids to the evils of mice.

After watching the video, she explains:

It’s pretty clear to me that when he says “according to Islamic Sharia, Mickey Mouse should be killed,” he’s saying it with a smirk on his face and a tongue in his cheek. And yet the American media got ahold of the video (which was put out by MEMRI) and all hell breaks loose.

And after linking to the media outlash, she observes:

Suddenly the cleric’s words are being twisted to say that Mickey should die, that there’s a fatwa on Mickey, that Tom & Jerry are evil. Dude didn’t say that at all. What he said is that, according to Islam, mice are dirty and when found indoors should be killed. He only brought up Mickey to explain how children have become immune to mice because they see them as cute little cartoons rather than dirty, infected rodents.

Give me a break, FOX and accomplices.

* Photo above of Mickey Mouses at Orlando International Airport by Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr.

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