Bad News for the Space Princess Movement

In a shattering blow to John C. Wright’s globe-spanning Space Princess Movement, imams in the UAE have issued a fatwa against anyone living on Mars. Dejah Thoris could not be reached for comment.

I hope and trust Mr. Wright will meet this challenge head on and lead us to the Light. Personally, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a Princess on Mars and returning her safely to the earth. We choose to go Mars and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are awesome!

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  • Great story. From the article: “The committee argued that an attempt to dwell
    on the planet would be so hazardous as to be suicidal and killing oneself is
    not permitted by Islam.”

    So in our terms, it would seem they think the Mars One one-way trip to Mars reality show offends against the cardinal virtue of prudence, and against the Fifth Commandment. I don’t agree (given my Western inculturation in favor of explorers), but it’s not absurd.

    BTW: I’ve always thought that the tribulations of a group of later-generation Muslim space colonists trying to make an interplanetary (or even interstellar) Hajj back to their ancestral Earth would be a good setting for a Chaucerian odyssey. Has any author ever written such a story?

    • wlinden

      There was someone’s two-part novel (I refuse to call it a “duology”, since the story is simply chopped in half) set in a future oppressivemosleminterplanetarydystopia, where the Sultan of Alpha Centauri is thwarted from the Hajj by that nasty old lightspeed limit. The answer? If the Sultan can not go to Mecca, can Mecca come to him?

      • Cool! Was the novel any good? Worth seeking out?

        • wlinden

          No, and no. But no doubt that is because I have been brainwashed by the International Islamist Conspiracy into thinking that it is not cool.

  • The group in question publishes their fatwas on the Internet. As of yesterday, this one wasn’t up yet (yes, I looked). It would be a useful thing to put up a link to the text, at least, when it becomes available, if they don’t withdraw and rethink it due to the gales of laughter coming from islamic sources. By the same logic as deployed to put Mars off limits, any protest against an authoritarian government would be forbidden under Islam. The chances of the secret police getting you are probably bigger than the chance that the engineers are going to kill you on a Mars mission.

    • Jeff

      Interestingly enough, there is a quietistic tradition in Islamic scholarship which discourages protests, uprisings or demonstrations on the grounds that doing so often results in significant loss of life for questionable gains:

      I’d be interested to know how this group has approached the issue of suicide bombings.

      • “there is a quietistic tradition in Islamic scholarship which discourages protests, uprisings or demonstrations on the grounds that doing so often results in significant loss of life for questionable gains”

        I’ve seen decent, non-laughable (if perhaps also non-persuasive) Christian arguments that, e.g., the American Revolution was an unjust war that proceed from similar premises. Again, I don’t personally find the fatwa persuasive to my non-Muslim mind, but I don’t think its laughable. It seems like a defensible, non-silly view for them to take, even if I disagree.

        • Nobody knows how risky the Mars mission will be. We haven’t built the ship, calculated the risks, even gathered the data to be able to calculate the risks. Issuing a religious judgment based on nothing more than the guess of what man might invent to take us to another planet is laughable.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    How can you not love stuff like this? What’s next? The Southern Baptist Convention issues a statement claiming that the practice of holding one’s breath until turning blue has no valid justification in Scripture? The Magisterium issuing guidelines on the proper means of baptism for centaurs?

    • Fiqh in Islamic Sharia is kind of like Halakhic Midrash in Judaism: all kinds of rulings about almost anything you can think of. The absence of that kind of all-encompassing, elaborately ramified legalism is one of the main distinguishers (on a sociological level) of our faith, informed as it is by Christ and by St. Paul, from the other two Abrahamic monotheisms.

  • ivan_the_mad

    Heh, this makes me think of one of my maths professors from university, who is (I’m sure he’s alive and well) coincidentally both Iranian and Muslim. His name is Faramarz, and he would offer this sort-of mnemonic to help students remember his name: “You can remember Faramarz, because Mars is far away.”

  • ImTim

    “is more vulnerable to death” Aren’t we all rather vulnerable to death?