Bangladesh: A prominent Muslim cleric in Bangladesh has issued a fatwa against using Facebook’s ‘haha’ emoji, calling it ‘totally haram’ for Muslims. In a three-minute video, the cleric discussed how people are mocked on Facebook. Today, we use Facebook’s Haha emojis to mock people, explained the cleric. If someone reacts with haha emojis purely for fun and the same is intended by the person posting the content, then it’s fine. In Islam, however, mockery or ridicule of people is still prohibited because it is considered ‘outrageous’.
More than two million people viewed the video posted by the cleric Ahmadullah, who has a large online following on Facebook and YouTube. ‘In the name of God, please refrain from doing this. Never mock someone with a ‘haha’ reaction. If you hurt a Muslim, he may respond with bad language that would be unexpected,’ he said. Ahmadullah has more than three million followers on Facebook and YouTube, and he frequently appears on television to discuss religious issues in the Muslim-majority nation.
In response to his video, thousands of people used the emoji ‘haha’ to poke fun at it. Ahmadullah is among Bangladesh’s new generation of internet-savvy preachers who are attracting millions of followers online. These new-age Islamic preachers are incredibly popular on social media platforms, attracting millions of views for their religious and social commentary. Some have gained notoriety for their weird claims about the origins of the Coronavirus, others are accused of preaching hatred, and still others have become instant celebrities because of their fun-filled videos.