Saturday, July 10, 2010

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Fatwa of the Day #7

A month ago I launched a new segment on Free Thinking Lebanon, writing about Fatwas issued by Muslim scholars in the Arab world. Seven posts later, I’m still amazed by some of the material I read on new Fatwas, while I decide on which of these bizarre edicts to write my next article. After reading so much about these Islamic rulings, I formed a somewhat personal opinion on the reason why some of these Fatwas—if not all—are issued. I believe that the folks who come up with those ridiculous Fatwas—except for a minority who might have a political agenda—are simply bored individuals, looking for a couple minutes of media exposure.

As an atheist I regard organized religions as a threat to the advancement of science—and to human progress in general, and I usually condemn any stumbling block(s), fashioned by religious absurdities, to hold back our development as a reasonable and scientifically-oriented culture; however, I find some of these Fatwas extremely funny, and I enjoy reading about them. I hope you’ve been enjoying them as well, because I’ve prepared another ridiculous one (below) for you to digest.

Coca-Cola BackwardsAs you all know, Islam—as well as Judaism—prohibits the ingestion of any products coming from pigs (I will not go into the detail to why it is prohibited, because I am preparing a detailed article on this subject, which I hope to publish soon). One day, Ayatollah Sheikh Qasim Attayi declares that all Muslims should avoid drinking Pepsi or Coke because they contain an enzyme called Pepsin which is extracted from pig intestine. Even though, the information he offers about the source of this enzyme is true (pig intestine is one source from which this enzyme can be extracted, read here); however he doesn’t indicate the source of the information on which he bases his affirmation that these two beverages contain Pepsin. I did some research on this issue and came across other forums discussing it, but none gives any reliable source of information, which is normal because the companies producing these two popular drinks do not release their secret recipe to the public, and therefore it would not be possible to affirm if they do contain Pepsin or not.

Evil Pepsi Coca Cola was hit by an additional wave of hate from the Muslim world. An Islamic website, “specialized” in propaganda for boycotting western products and Israel, offers another reason why Muslims should not drink Coke. They claim that Coca Cola is a supporter of Israel since 1966, despite the boycott lobbied against Israel by Arabs. To enforce their claims, they point to a page on the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website titled “Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998”, which under the year 1966 reads the following:

“Coca Cola announces its plans to open a plant to produce Coca Cola in Israel, despite the Arab boycott”

I’m not an expert in politics but I’m inclined to believe that the reason behind this BUSINESS expansion by Coca Cola is, well, to expand their Business! I don’t really see a conspiracy taking place, but maybe I’m too na├»ve to uncover this Zionist scheme. Unlike me, however, many seem to have exposed this mysterious plan; one of them is Fahri Hassan, a filmmaker who shot a documentary titled “Coca Cola & Israel: Is Not the Real Thing”. In an interview with a correspondent from, Hassan explains the meaning of this title, he said “[…] it is a play on the Coca Cola slogan: "Coke is the real thing." [What] I am saying is that Coca Cola is not the real thing. It is deception since they are upholding the State of Israel with their money.” I tried to look for this documentary on YouTube but couldn’t find it. However, below is a bonus video which claims to expose Coca Cola and Pepsi; enjoy!

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