Muslim Cleric Bans “Annoying” Celebratory Shooting Into Air

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On Wednesday, the Grand Ayatollah of Lebanon issued a fatwa banning the common local practice of shooting into the air in celebration, after three people were killed by stray bullets in Beirut. The gun-wielding celebrants were happy about the reelection of Nabih Berri, the kick-ass Shi’ite speaker of Lebanon’s parliament. Those short of fireworks evidently tended to fire off a few AK-47 clips into the air, but gravity unexpectedly brought the bullets back to earth.

Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah’s edict declares that shooting into the air is now “forbidden because of its major negative consequences and because it is intimidating and annoying.” Based on that reasoning, I assume that actually directing the bullets at people is next on the list. I guess we’ll see. While you’re at it, maybe the suicide bombing, too. That is certainly annoying. And I’m no expert, but I didn’t realize you could get a fatwa on something just because it was “annoying.” If so, I have a long list of stuff here that I need to send in to the G.A.’s office for immediate fatwa-ing.

Fadlallah also said that the shooting celebrations “reflect weak religious, national and political commitment and a retarded mentality in dealing with special occasions, whether of joy or sadness.”