As Time reports, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (GAIAE) in the United Arab Emirates have issued a fatwa against traveling to Mars. Their reasoning:
It is not permissible to travel to Mars and never to return if there is no life on Mars. The chances of dying are higher than living.
GAIAE concludes that the trip is akin to suicide, and not permissible.
Well, I guess that’s why they are called explorers, guys! Does GAIAE really want to supply the western world with legitimate reason to call muslims ‘Sissies’? After all, there are dirty, morally degenerate unbelievers who are perfectly willing to take the plunge.
Mars One – the Organization that funds the one-way trip to Mars – was able to dig up a perfect reply: They compare the first Martian settlers with Muslim explorers like Ibn Battuta, and include a Quranic verse that encourages Muslims to go out and see ‘the signs of God’s creation in the heavens and the earth’.
Well played, Mars One! At least it’s better played than Swiss Comedians Viktor Giacobbo and Mike Müller who merely commented that it’s certainly important to distinguish suicide by exploration from one in a crowded market.
So, after the ‘Red Moon’ scare in the 50s and 60s, we can sleep easy knowing that there will be no ‘Muslim Mars’ threat.