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Saudi Cleric: Selfies with Cats ‘Prohibited’ in Saudi Arabia

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Selfie with a cat. Image source Wikimedia commons

An influential Saudi cleric says taking selfies with cats or other animals is “prohibited” unless completely necessary.

Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, was told about the trend among Saudis who “want to be like Westerners,” during an April 17 televised appearance that was posted by the Middle East Media Research Institute monitoring group.

Al-Fazwan replied: “What?! What do you mean pictures with cats? Taking pictures is prohibited. The cats don’t matter here. Taking pictures is prohibited if not for a necessity. Not with cats, not with dogs, not with wolves, not with anything.”

Taking pictures with pets is not the only Western habit to face scrutiny in the country where an ultraconservative strain of Islam, Wahhabism, is practiced.

Earlier this year, the Saudi grand mufti said the game of chess was forbidden because it encourages gambling. The Pokemon card game was also banned because the cards were said to have crosses and the Jewish Star of David on them,Newsweek reported.

According to The Washington Post, the sheikh’s view on cat selfies reflects a view by some hardliners in Saudi Arabia who want a total ban on photography because it is in conflict with Islam’s prohibition on depicting human or animal images.

However, the Post reports, the grand mufti allows himself to be photographed, so it’s unclear how much influence Al-Fawzan’s prohibition will have.

One lingering question remains: When is it ever completely necessary to take a selfie with a cat?

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Research Claims, Having A Pet Can Help Older People Stay Physically Active

One in six participants said they put their pet's needs ahead of their own. "Although the benefits of pets are significant, social connections and activities with friends and family are also key to quality of life," the study said. 

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"Relations with pets tend to be less complicated than those with humans, and pets are often a source of great enjoyment. They also provide older people with a sense of being needed and loved," said Mary Janevic, researcher at the University of Michigan in the US.  Pixabay

Having a pet can help older people cope with mental and physical health issues. According to a study, more than three-quarters of pet owners said their animals helped in reducing stress.

Two-thirds of pet owners, and 78 per cent of dog owners said pets helped them stay physically active, and 65 per cent people said having a pet helped them connect with other people.

dogs

However, time commitment and cost stood in the way of pet ownership, researchers said. Apart from people reporting difficulty in travelling or enjoying activities outside home due to pets, 18 per cent said having a pet put strain on their budget. Pixabay

In addition, over 70 per cent of the elderly said pets helped them cope with physical or emotional symptoms, and 46 per cent reported it helped take their mind off of pain.

“Relations with pets tend to be less complicated than those with humans, and pets are often a source of great enjoyment. They also provide older people with a sense of being needed and loved,” said Mary Janevic, researcher at the University of Michigan in the US.

For the study, the team included 2,051 people aged 50-80 years.

old people
In addition, over 70 per cent of the elderly said pets helped them cope with physical or emotional symptoms, and 46 per cent reported it helped take their mind off of pain.
Pixabay

However, time commitment and cost stood in the way of pet ownership, researchers said. Apart from people reporting difficulty in travelling or enjoying activities outside home due to pets, 18 per cent said having a pet put strain on their budget.

Also Read: The All New Vaccine Will Eliminate HPV Infection, Claims Study

One in six participants said they put their pet’s needs ahead of their own. “Although the benefits of pets are significant, social connections and activities with friends and family are also key to quality of life,” the study said.

Helping older people find low-cost ways to support pet ownership, while not sacrificing other important relationships and priorities is an investment in overall mental and physical health,” said Cathleen Connell, Professor at the varsity. (IANS)