Turkey’s top religious body has reportedly issued a fatwa urging Muslims who have tattoos to repent or have them surgically removed.
The fatwa, issued by the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), reasserted that tattoos were banned by the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, reports the Hurriyet Daily News, a Turkish daily newspaper.
“Our prophet has said ‘Allah has cursed the people who change their shape created by God, such as a woman who tattoos on someone else or has a tattoo done, those who remove hair from their face or eyebrows or those who remove their teeth or make them thinner,’” the Diyanet said. “Having a tattoo is banned, but it does not prevent making ablutions.”
“A person who has tattoo on his/her body should erase it, if possible. He/she should repent to God if the tattoo cannot be erased,” the Diyanet said.
A similar decree issued by the Turkish government last year banned makeup, tattoos and piercings for students, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The regulation came after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July rebuked a 18-year-old for his tattoos.
“What are these tattoos? Why do you harm your body like that?” said Mr. Erdogan, who was the prime minister at the time. “Don’t be fooled by foreigners. God forbid, it could even give you skin cancer in the future.”