Turkey’s top religious body says exposing privacy with online photos ‘improper’ in Islam
AFP PhotoSharing personal photos on social media is inappropriate according to Islam, Turkey’s Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has announced.
“It is improper in religion for a person to expose their privacy on virtual platforms and share it with other people,” the Diyanet said in its monthly magazine, according to daily Habertürk.
“People should be cautious against this danger. It is necessary to pray to God and worship in order to avoid sins, and to be busy with more useful things. Friendship circles should be formed according to this [principle],” it added.
Both men and women have a right to use the Internet, but people must protect the scale of their lives, the Diyanet said, underlining that living within the framework of Islamic morality and lifestyle is important for a Muslim.
The Diyanet’s advice has received a mixed reaction among prominent religious thinkers in Turkey.
The former Mufti of Istanbul, Professor Abdülaziz Bayındır, expressed his support for the warning.
“Nobody has right to expose others’ lives. We only have one suggestion to those who share their own privacy: Don’t do it, it is wrong. But in the end it is up to them,” Bayındır said.
Another professor, Talip Özdeş, also approved the warning, saying the concepts of halal and haram are equally valid in the virtual platform.
However, Ankara University academic Haydar Kırbaşoğlu has questioned whether there were political motives in the Diyanet’s remarks, while journalist Ayşe Sucu suggested that the Diyanet even considered photos of women and men holding hands to be sinful.