As a Muslim, I’m calling out this latest decision by the Fatwa Committee under the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment in the United Arab Emirates. One-way trips to Mars are against Islam? That’s some interstellar bullshit. Nice attempt at trying to hijack the hot topic headline though.

“Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam,” Professor Dr Farooq Hamada’s committee said. “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.” Fact check: This is not suicide. This is a research space mission. You’re not going to die; you’re going to Mars to seek knowledge. This fatwa is going against one of the main principles of Islam. The first word spoken to man by Allah اقرأ  — ikra, “read” or “seek knowledge.”

Some 500 Saudies and other Arabs have already applied for the Dutch space mission, whose first trip is being planned for 2023, with another crew shipped off to Mars every two years in order to establish a permanent human colony. The Fatwa Committee stated that some of these aspiring Mars immigrants are “escaping punishment or standing before Almighty Allah for judgment,” as in, what happens on Mars, stays on Mars and Judgement Day can’t touch them? Nah, son. If Allah is omniscient, he’ll get you on Mars too.

And in case you were wondering which way is Mecca from Mars, the International Space Station or anywhere else post-Earth: “Prayer is not supposed to be a gymnastic exercise,” devout Muslim astronaut Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor explained. “One is supposed to concentrate on the prayer rather than exact location.” Yes, there have been Muslims in space since the ’80s. (Image: Marina Galperina/ANIMALNewYork)