Islamic preacher Wajdi Akkari has prohibited the use of religious or spiritual emojis on the grounds of them being non-Islamic in nature.
He has issued a warning to Islam followers banning the usage of emojis like the angel, devil or prayer ones. He released a video on MailOnline with his animated avatar circulating his message to audiences. “You have to be selective in these emojis. Not everything is halal [permissible] to share,” he said as quoted by The Daily Mail. The video was shared by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Lebanese by origin, Akkari moved to the United States when he was 18 and joined a rap group. He then got married and moved his wife and children to Saudi Arabia where he taught Arabic.
“When someone wants to share their innocence or say, ‘I’m a good boy,’ they send that yellow smiley face with a halo. No!” he said in the video. “Do we believe that angels in Islam are like the angels in Christianity? … Absolutely not … We don’t know what Satan and the devil look like. Therefore, we are not allowed to draw him. These emojis that are devilish in their nature are not allowed, even if you are trying to say that ‘you are being a bad boy or a bad girl.’”
The Sun reported Akkari saying that using the prayer emoji was also not a good idea because the way Islam followers pray is different from that of other religions. In Islam, people have their hands towards the heaven, while other religions may be using the same gesture for other activities, he added. In 2011, Akkari released a video that said if a Muslim was greeted by someone “Merry Christmas,” was one of the worst crimes or offence.
The reports also stated the Islamic preacher mentioning that he had to “suffer a lot” in America for five years in “Hollywood-like” situations then.