Saudi Arabia’s highest-ranking cleric has called cinemas and singing concerts as harmful and corrupting. The comments by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al Sheikh, published on his website, said cinemas and round-the-clock entertainment could open the door to “atheistic or rotten” foreign films and encourage the mixing of the sexes, reports the Dawn.
His comments came after head of the government’s General Authority for Entertainment, Amr al Madani, stirred debate last week when he raised the possibility of opening cinemas and staging concerts this year.
Cinemas and public concerts are already banned in the Islamic kingdom. But the government promised a shake-up of the cultural scene with a set of “Vision 2030” reforms announced by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz last year.
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“I hope those in-charge of the Entertainment Authority are guided to turn it from bad to good and not to open doors to evil. Motion pictures may broadcast shameless, immoral, atheistic or rotten films,” the Grand Mufti said on his weekly television programme, according to a transcript of his comments on his website.