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Sudanese cleric slams TV prize draws as sacrilegious

October 23, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese cleric who is also a member of the parliament issued a Fatwa (religious ruling) by which he declared that prizes offered by telecommunications companies to its subscribers through a daily TV draw are forbidden by Islam.

A number of Sudanese telecom companies including Zain, Sudani and MTN have been conducting these draws over the last two months to encourage its subscribers to register their personal details associated with the SIM cards they own.

The prizes offered include cash, gold coins and cars.

But hardliner cleric Dafalla Hassab al-Rasool said in press statements today that subscribers who received prizes through these draws should seek to get rid of it and donate them to mosques or to the poor and needy.

He noted that the Islamic Fiqh Council Fatwa in this regard prompted the telecommunication ministry to order these companies to scrap these programs.

MP al-Rasool said that Sudan’s highest religious authority determined that these draws are marred by questionable practices.

He stressed that telecom companies should attract customers by improving the quality of their services and prices and not through "gambling".

"These cars and other [prizes] are funded by the prices of these SIM cards purchased but the award goes to one person only and this is gambling," he said.

(ST)