Saudi mufti condemns April Fool's Day

Posted: Friday, April 06, 2001

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Muslims should not participate in April Fool's Day joking because lying is prohibited under all but the most extreme conditions, Saudi Arabia's chief cleric said.

Grand Mufti Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al al-Sheik's comments, published Sunday, came following a query by the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh about the April 1 tradition. Al-Sheik acknowledged that the Western tradition was becoming common among Muslims, but called it ''a practice of the unbelievers.''

''It is prohibited because lying is prohibited at all times and under all conditions'' except for three, he was quoted as saying.

Lying is permitted only when it brings reconciliation between people, occurs during times of war or when a husband or wife must protect the honor of the spouse, al-Sheik said.

Saudi Arabia discourages most Western influences and bans the celebrations of all non-Muslim holidays.

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