Biofuels may have hit an unexpected roadblock with a pronouncement by Sheik Mohamed al-Najimi of the Saudi Islamic Jurisprudence Academy that the fuel may be prohibited by Islam. According to al-Najimi, the prophet Muhammad prohibited the buying, selling, transporting, drinking, and manufacturing of alcohol – including the ethyl alcohol present in ethanol.
If other religious leaders take al-Najimi’s opinion seriously, biofuel could be banned in Muslim countries that currently disallow alcohol. That means Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya, and Sudan could potentially become biofuel-free zones.
While al-Najimi says that his recommendation should not be considered a fatwa (a legal pronouncement in Islam), he does believe that restriction of biofuels should go beyond Muslim countries to include Muslims around the world.
Photo CC-Licensed by xeni