A fatwa (religious edict) against “all you can eat” buffets by a Saudi cleric has stirred debate among users of social networking site Twitter.
The cleric, Saleh al-Fawzan, recently issued a fatwa through a kingdom-based Quranic TV station prohibiting open buffets, saying that the value and quantity of what is sold should be pre-determined before it is purchased.
“Whoever enters the buffet and eats for 10 or 50 riyals without deciding the quantity they will eat is violating Sharia (Islamic) law,” said Fawzan on al-Atheer channel.
Using the Twitter hashtag “prohibiting-open-buffet” (in Arabic), some of the site’s users criticized Fawzan’s fatwa.
“Restaurants will be ruined if they didn’t quantify the food they sold. This negates the sheikh’s premise that the quantity is unknown,” said on Twitter user.
“This is not Quran just a mere fatwa, if you want to follow it, you are a free man but you can not impose it on others,” wrote another.
One user sarcastically wrote: “Congratulations! Open buffets have made it in the list for what is forbidden for us.”
However, some comments were posted supporting the cleric.
“It is funny, those who call for discussions, they do not discuss evidence or what the sheikh has proposed but discuss his person.”
While another said: “The disaster is those who criticize the sheikh are ignorant, they do not know.”
The fatwa has also caught the attention of local and regional newspapers.
Saudi’s al-Madina newspaper published a headline on Wednesday that read: “Fatwa prohibits open buffets creates uproar on Twitter.”
Egyptian news outlets Sada el-Balad and Nawaret carried the story with accompanying videos of the interview where the cleric proclaimed the fatwa.