COMMENTARY | The International Business Times is reporting that a Saudi cleric named Saleh al-Fawzan has issued a fatwa against all you can eat buffets. Entering the dinner line and piling on the plate is apparently against Sharia law.
Understandably this fatwa has stirred a firestorm in social media, even among Muslims. In any case it may be that al-Fawzan doesn’t actually have the authority to issue a fatwa against anything. In the Kingdom, at least, only the Saudi Council of Muftis has that authority.
A couple of things come to mind besides the usual eye rolling.
First, is Al Qaeda going to force one of my favorite all you can eat places, Dimassi’s, to close? Dimassi’s is a Lebanese owned chain located in Texas that features Middle Eastern food that includes hommus, baba ghanouge, tabouli salad, and various kinds of kebabs with pita bread. Clearly if all you can eat buffers are against Sharia law, one can no longer have Middle Eastern food served that way.
Second, is al-Fawzan going to team up with Michelle Obama for her anti-obesity campaign? It would seem that going after all you can eat buffets would be the perfect fit for the First Lady’s crusade to stop people from stuffing themselves fat. Ms. Obama has already ruined school lunches by forcing students to eat unappetizing veggies and thus causing them to starve their way through afternoon math and English. Forcing their parents not to have that second helping of Salisbury steak or fried chicken would simply be the next step. Just for form’s sake the First Lady would have to recruit tame clerics from other religions, not just a Roman Catholic priest, a Baptist preacher, and a Jewish rabbi, but also a Buddhist monk to show us the joys of enforced vegetarianism.
In the meantime it is the advice of your humble correspondent that going to the buffet line has just become an act of civil disobedience. My advice therefore is to eat hearty and, as much as possible, healthy.