Indonesian Muslim clerics frown on social networking. Using YouTube for jihad recruitment: Good. Using Facebook and Friendster to chat with friends: Bad!
Indonesian Islamic clerics warned Muslims on Friday not to use popular Internet networking sites like Facebook for flirting or gossiping.
A non-binding resolution issued after a meeting of hundreds of Islamic scholars from Java and Bali islands warns that using sites like Facebook can lead to pornography and “obscenity.”
“We forbid the use of Facebook, Friendster and other social networking sites unless they are being used to foster Islamic teaching,” a spokesman for the clerics, Abdul Muid Shohib, said.
“So spreading ill words about others, gossiping and other things that go against religious teaching on social networking sites in the virtual world are forbidden according to Islamic law.”
Facebook is hugely popular in the world’s most populous Muslim country, and while rulings from Islamic clerics are influential they are rarely followed to the letter.
Indonesia ranks fifth behind the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy and France in terms of Facebook use, according to Internet tracking website Alexa.com.
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