Regis Philbin is doing unholy deeds -- at least according to religious scholars at the world's oldest Islamic university, Al-Azhar in Egypt. The Grand Mufti, or highest authority at Al-Azhar, has issued a fatwa against the show, calling it un-Islamic. In his condemnation, he said the show is just a modern version of gambling -- a practice totally forbidden in Islam -- since viewers who dial in to try to earn money are charged a fee. "Anyone who calls in -- whether they win or not -- is participating in gambling since phone call revenues go towards the winner's prize," the Grand Mufti said in a statement. The statement goes on to say that such games "include cheating, trickery, treachery, lies and defrauds people out of their money." He called on "the media to abide by God's jurisdiction and cancel the shows." "Who Wants to Be Millionaire" originated in England and is now broadcast in more than a dozen countries, including Poland, India, Holland, Israel and Australia, according to its British producers, Celador. Egyptian TV has been airing an Arabic version of the show lately, which is licensed to London-based satellite channel MBC. Egyptians have also been treated to "Pyramid of Dreams," a similar, locally produced game show. ABC, a division the Walt Disney Company, broadcasts the American version of the show, hosted by talk show host Regis Philbin. Disney is also the parent company of ABCNEWS.com.
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