Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan issued the decree after being told during a televised appearance about ‘a new trend of animal lovers posing for pictures with their pets’.
After being informed of the craze, he said: ‘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 ‘
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.
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.