Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning traveling to Mars

Mars One’s plans to send volunteers to the Red Planet on a one-way mission have faced a setback by a fatwa committee.

The committee of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE) in the United Arab Emirates has prohibited Muslims from taking a one-way trip to the Red Planet.


The Mars One, a Dutch nonprofit announced to send four people to a Martian habitat by 2024, followed by a second group a few years later. The estimated $6bn cost of the trip will be covered by the sale of TV rights.

The religious leaders squabble that this trip would be equivalent to committing suicide, which all religions tend to scowl upon.

“There is a possibility that an individual who travels to planet Mars may not be able to remain alive there, and is more vulnerable to death,” the committee said.

Up to 500 Muslims are reported to have applied for the Mars One mission.

Professor Farooq Hamada, who presided over the committee, explicated, “Protecting life against all possible dangers and keeping it safe is an issue agreed upon by all religions and is clearly stipulated in verse 4/29 of the Holy Quran: Do not kill yourselves or one another. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.”

As a reply Mars One said, “If we may be so bold: the GAIAE should not analyze the risk as they perceive it today. The GAIAE should assess the potential risk for humans as if an unmanned habitable outpost is ready and waiting on Mars. Only when that outpost is established will human lives be risked in Mars One’s plan.” By the means of this statement, Mars One also appealed the GAIAE to cancel the Fatwa.

The team also noted that the fatwa only forbids Muslims from going on the actual mission, not from applying to participate and undertake the eight years of training required for the trip.

  • Stoorworm


  • Moohamed

    All the more reason to go, and what do the idiots in the “council” going to do once the rocket takes off? Hard to get a suicide vest on a rocket in flight.

    At least they are good for hilarity.

  • Tangoguy

    How do suicide bombers fit in with their Fatwa?

    • Terence Clark

      Though I don’t know for certain, I expect they are opposed to suicide bombers. Most Muslims are. The clerics issuing those sorts of decisions are often extremists hiding in mountains not the major clerics in places where most Muslims live.

      • Tangoguy

        You may be right in some cases but there are those out in the open in those countries where free speech is an option. See attached

        • Terence Clark

          Your source is the Daily Mail? That’s the UK’s top rag newspaper. And even so you missed this point “The heartening thing in the midst of all this tragedy is that the British Muslim community has, with a unified, unreserved voice, condemned the killing and pledged support for our armed forces.”

          Be careful about your sources. The Daily Mail has zero respect for their journalistic integrity from pretty much anyone. That’s not a political judgment, that’s a judgment on the poor quality of the publication.

          • Tangoguy

            Terrance: you might also try: or any of several other newspapers. No doubt, all of which some people may have a problem with their journalistic integrity.

            Most newspapers twist news stories to suit their own views of the world. Prime examples are
            Al Jazeera and Fox news. I’ve read exactly the same story with the same facts that were published by those two newspapers and they both told it with an obvious bias.

          • Terence Clark

            Fair enough, though I still hold that the vast majority of Muslims worldwide, clerics included, are opposed to suicide attacks and cold-blooded murder in the name of their faith, despite refuges for such attitudes and spokespeople that catch headlines.

            What we understand about Muslim demographics tends to be pretty far from reality. As one person I listened to put it, if you gathered all of the Muslim women on the planet in one place (all roughly half a billion of them), you’d be hard pressed to find one wearing a head covering just by scanning the crowd. But we’re told in our media that all Muslim women must cover their heads, are forbidden to drive or play sports, etc, etc, etc. There are places in which that is true, but it’s not true of the broad population. I haven’t seen hard numbers on it, but I highly suspect the same is true of support for violence in the name of Islam. It’s certainly true among western Muslims.

            As to sourcing, sure, most news sources have their critics, and I’m sure the Daily Mail wasn’t completely off base with the article. But the Daily Mail is in the top tier of junk journalism. In fact, it’s probably the one thing they are best known for.

          • Tangoguy

            I would agree with you on that. The media leads most of us around by our noses or so it seems. They determine what we see, hear and lead us to believe what they want us to believe. i.e. “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. If the media had been doing their jobs they would have done some investigative journalism and discovered the truth.

            Viet Nam was the government’s big mistake when it came to allowing the media to be imbedded with the U.S. troops. Once the reports came back on what was happening, the U.S. public turned against the war.

            I find it frightening, when I think of how the public is manipulated to feel animosity towards certain minority groups i.e. Moslems.( check out many of the Muslim jokes circulation on the internet) It’s reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Unless attitudes change, this can only end badly.

            Now we are spoon fed, via the media, what the government wishes us to know…with some exceptions.
            p.s. good discussion..thanks

          • Terence Clark

            Absolutely! I’ve enjoyed it as well.

            In terms of why the media does what they do, I’d agree the government plays a role. And likely a big one. But media is, and has always been, driven by the culture in which it exists and by the market it is selling to. The Daily Mail exists because people love the dirty salacious stuff, just like the Enquirer here in the US. Whether or not its the truth is beside the point. It has an audience and that audience makes money for them. So why change? It can be seen as far back as journalism has existed, or media of any kind for that matter. Unfortunately media is more often an outward expression of cultural confirmation bias. It isn’t always, but far too often it is.