Facebook and Religion

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Face book is a market place which is open and free to individuals who want to be a part of it. I have friends who have no more than 10 friends and they are content with it, and some of them are fully into with over 5000 friends.

It is like a clothing store, a grocery store, or a book store where you can choose to buy a book about sex or Bible or chance on meeting a person of opposite gender who may become a life partner or a killer. The choice is yours.

You tell your friends to abstain from going to prostitutes, drinking Alcohol or smoking…. as they all have health hazards or social, cultural or religious bans. Some do it regardless and most don’t.

Let the Imams discuss the possible temptations and good things of being on the face book or being on the street open to good, bad or ugly. You cannot ban some thing that also produces good. There is no compulsion in the matters of faith, as they don’t work. Ultimately individuals are responsible for what they do; No Imam, Rabbi, Pundit or Pastor is responsible for individual’s action.

Mike Ghouse
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Imams OK Facebook, but no flirting!
22 May, 2009, 1729 hrs IST,AP

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SURABAYA: Muslim clerics debating the exploding popularity of Facebook in Indonesia said Friday that followers could use the networking site to co nnect with friends or for work — but not to gossip or flirt.

The nonbinding ruling followed a two-day meeting of clerics in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Around 700 clerics, or imams, agreed to draft up guidelines on surfing the Web after receiving complaints about Facebook and other sites, including concerns they encourage illicit sex, said Nabil Haroen, a spokesman for the organizers.

They decided “Facebook is haram (or forbidden) if it is used for gossiping and spreading lies,” he said, and that users also could not ask overtly intimate questions or in anyway encourage “vulgar behavior.” But the clerics noted, too, there were many upsides to Facebook and other trendy, new forms of communication, from mobile phone text messaging to video conferencing.

It has become easier today for the young to connect, the imams’ 300-word edict said, “erasing space and time constraints” and making it possible for couples to get to know — before they get married — if they really are well-suited.

Facebook had no immediate comment Friday, but said ahead of the ruling that people typically use the site to connect with their friends, family or learn about local and world issues and events.
“We have seen many people and organizations use Facebook to advance a positive agenda,” said Debbie Frost, a Facebook spokeswoman.

Indonesia is a secular nation of 235 million people, 90 percent of whom are Muslim, and Facebook is the top-ranked site in the country, beating out even search engines Yahoo and Google.

Though an edict by the clerics does not carry any legal weight, it could be endorsed by the influential Ulema Council, which recently issued rulings against smoking and yoga. Some devout Muslims adhere to the council’s rulings because ignoring a fatwa, or religious decree, is considered a sin.

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About Mike Ghouse

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a public speaker and the Executive Director of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeghouse/