Saudi king limits fatwas

A Saudi royal order limiting the number of religious rulings, or fatwas, that can be issued is an attempt to bring order to what has become a chaotic field since the advent of satellite television and the Internet, analysts say.

King Abdullah’s decree, issued Thursday, prohibits anyone other than Islamic scholars appointed by him from issuing public religious rulings.

“We have noticed some excesses that we cannot tolerate, and it is our legal duty to stand up to these with strength and resolve to preserve religion,” the Saudi ruler said in his order, which was addressed to the kingdom’s grand mufti, the most senior official pronouncing on religious matters.

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