Monday, October 03, 2005

TV halal, cinema haram?

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Ramadhan's here again, well either tomorrow or the day after, and as usual all the Arab television channels including Oman TV will turn into full-on 24/7 entertainment with wall to wall soap operas. Somehow that's all ok, but watching a movie in the cinema is a big no-no.

As per tradition, the Ministry of Heritage and Culture today issued its order to cinemas that they are prohibited from showing movies before 9pm during Ramadhan. Of course in typical Omani fashion we should always learn to look at those worse off than us lest we wish to improve, hence, I am going to say at least we're better than Kuwait where last Ramadhan the company that owns all the cinemas decided to voluntarily stop showing movies during the last ten days of Ramadhan.

I wonder if someone actually takes this decision in the ministry every year or if it's just happening because one of the past ministers made that decision and it just keeps getting implemented every year without any thought going into it because it really is ridiculous.

15 comments:

NaBHaN said...

I think it's stupid! There are far worse things that get Aired on t.v during the month of ramadhan. oh well.

Mansur said...

I know some places in Dubai show movies even during the afternoon shows, I guess to please the non-Muslims.

M

Sleepless In Muscat said...

if the ministry of culture and heritage really wish to stop the immoral things from ever happening during ramadhan, then they should stop the bellydancing shows, the live singing in hotels and such..

its such a hipocritical law..

Sowhat said...

wont make diffrent for muslims .. as i dont think muslims will goto cinima before eftar but why 9 pm !! is it becouse of taraweeh ??

regarding kuwait , the owner try to buy some of religious party acceptance by doing this .. which is really ridicolous ..

I dont know what is the problem with cinimas in muscat !! they anthave a show after 12 while bars/ nightclubs close by 3 !!

muscati said...

Ali, there is no singing or dancing in any of the hotels during Ramadhan. Besides those are controlled by the Ministry of Commerce and the ROP. The Ministry of Heritage and Culture only has jurisdiction on cinemas.

Wardat_il'7leej said...

I don't see anything stupid about this, since the cinemas would be closed at a time where people are expected to be at work, home, sleeping, reading quran, doing 3ibadah, getting ready for iftaar, and going for taraweeh.

This to me makes a lot of sense.

Namika said...

so at night ramadhan is over? no 3ibada at night? no reading Quran or praying!!!

This makes no sense..

Samyah said...

Makes sense to me too. Why would a cinema be showing afternoon/evening movies when nobody is going to go see them? Ppl here hardly go to afternoon movies even when its not Ramadhan and they'll all be eating during the evening so they wont go then either. The 9pm sounds reasonable.

Aside from the business perspective, I personally don't think that going out to watch a movie is wise when you are fasting as you risk missing a prayer while you are out. Its different in the comfort of your home where you are able to get up anytime and leave.

As long as the reason behind the ruling isn't the content, then it makes perfect sense to me!

NiGhTFaCe said...

It makes sense, where as Samyah said people hardly go for afternoon shows, even for the weekend you dont see much of them. Thought thats why I always go at that time because its easy to find tickets/seats.


I think for Ramdhan most of the outgoing activites will be after 8 or 9 P.M, so even for the timing that is fair enough!

muscati said...

I'm sorry guys but I don't agree with those of you who say that it makes sense. The only way it makes sense is if the cinema owners themselves decide that they don't open in the daytime on the basis that no one wants to go to the movies when they're fasting. But for the government to say "hey because this is a religious month cinemas shouldn't play movies" while at the same time Oman TV is showing non-religious programming? Sorry that's just hypocrisy.

Besides since iftar is before 6pm why make the first allowed movie show 9pm just because of taraweeh prayers? What about people who don't pray taraweeh? What if I want to grab a quick iftar at 6 and go to a movie that will finish before the begining of taraweeh?

Wardat_il'7leej said...

Nothing personal Mux, but you are not the rest of the Omani population who dont think in that manner and would rather be with their families during and after Iftar.

Anyhow, what ever the reason i just hope it wasnt based on movie material. Even though i would think that an Omani Muslim wouldnt want to be seen publicly doing something "wrong"

OceanDream said...

Mux, look what you have done! Now ppl think you don't want to spend time with me! Okays, after this public humiliation you can sleep on the couch!

muscati said...

Warda, you said it yourself. It's up to the Omani people to decide it on their own. If cinemas were allowed to show movies in the day time during Ramadhan most people wouldn't go and the cinema will find it's not worth their money to operate except at night. But that's an economic decision that cinemas should make on their own. It is hypocritical for the government to say that they cinemas shouldn't show movies because it is Ramadhan and then allow the same stuff or even worse to be available on tv.

People who want to be with their families after iftar will stay with their families even if the cinema was showing movies. People who want to go exercise will do go out and walk, jog, play football, whatever. People who want to go shopping will shop. People who want to nap will nap. Etc. And whether the government likes it or not, not all people go pray taraweeh.

NiGhTFaCe said...

Muscati, I agree that the ministry shouldnt announce such thing at the 1st place because the cinemas are taking the step by themselves!

Ali said...

I think its a good decision even thought there are worse things on TV. At least they are trying to make Ramadhan as religious as possible and i dont see anything wrong with that. If you have a person who drinks alcohol and fornicates then he decided to stop drinking while continues his sexual escapaes would you consider him a hypocrite? Yes, but isnt that better than having done both bad deeds?
meh lame examplei know, but thats how i see it.