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Mars One requests that Muslim clerics rescind fatwa against Mars colony

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Mars One, a Dutch based organization that proposes to establish the first colony on Mars, has requested that the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment located in the United Arab Emirites rescind its fatwa prohibiting Muslims from traveling to and settling Mars in a February 21, 2014 statement.

The statement quotes the Koran from a sura that it claims encourages Muslims to explore and to appreciate the heavens, while invoking the life of a 14th Century Moroccan explorer named Ibn Battuta.

"And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors: verily in that are Signs for those who know." (Quran 30: 22)

“The Muslim world has a rich tradition of exploration. The verse from the Quran above encourages Muslims to go out and see the signs of God’s creation in the ‘heavens and the earth’. The most influential example of this was the Moroccan Muslim traveller, Ibn Battuta, who from 1325 to 1355 travelled 73,000 miles, visiting the equivalent of 44 modern countries. Among the countries Ibn Battuta visited were Russia, Afghanistan, India, the Maldives, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and China.

“His travels, documented in his famous journal, Rihla, have taught us more about the medieval societies in those countries than dozens of other historical texts put together. In that book, he wrote about seeing the signs of God’s creation wherever he travelled. He told us ‘Never, so far as possible, to cover a second time any road’.

“The mission to Mars is a road that has never been walked before, even though the first settlers will be walking in the footsteps of Ibn Battuta, Marco Polo, Neil Armstrong, or any of the other great explorers in history.”

The statement went on to describe how the Mars One project is striving to mitigate the risk of traveling to and settling on Mars.

It is unknown at this time how effective a secular, European group will be disputing a point of the Muslim religion with a council of Islamic clerics. It is possible that the Mars One group, should it wish to pursue the matter, would want to find other Muslims clerics to give their approval of the venture to colonize Mars.

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