In an extraordinary move, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa against Artificial Intelligence, calling it “satanic.” Anyone using the quickly developing technology would be punished by hanging, Iranian officials said.
Hyperallergic has obtained the full text of the fatwa, signed by Ayatollah Khamenei yesterday, March 31:
In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate,
We are from God and to God we shall return:
I am informing all virtuous Muslims of the world that a new satanic technology aims to replace the creation of Allah the almighty.
I call on all Muslims wherever they may be in the world to refrain from and fight against all forms of artificial intellegence as they insult the sacred beliefs of Muslims henceforth. Whoever is killed in this cause will be a martyr, God willing. Any person or group propogating this devil worship will punished for their actions.
May peace and blessings of Allah be upon you,
Ali Hosseini Khamenei
According to Iranian media, the move was spurred by the wide circulation of a queer interpretation of the Quran written by an AI chatbot.
It’s the first time in history the Islamic Republic issues a fatwa against a non-human entity. In 1989, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill the Indian-born British-American novelist Salman Rushdie and put millions of dollars on his head for his 1988 book The Satanic Verses.
Countries worldwide denounced the recent fatwa, including the United States. “Once again, Iran’s extremist regime chooses fear over progress, nooses over keyboards,” Department of State spokesman Ned Price said in a press conference today at the White House.