I almost had a heart attack today looking at this picture of the Ruet-e-Hilal committee.
Not because of the accompanying article which describes yet another ridiculous controversy (once again, the upstart Qasim Ali Khan mosque Ruet-e-Hilal committee has gone rogue and apparently things are so bad that some kind of peace talks have been scheduled between it and the Zonal NWFP Ruet-e-Hilal committee) but because that appears to be a telescope in front of Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman! In previous years, they always managed to sight the moon with the delicate combination of a theodolite and a cell phone:
Having previously been impressed by Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman’s effortless, rainman-like ability to give the exact amount of dates, raisins or dried cottage cheese required for Fitrana, my initial thought was that this was a bold innovation on his part. But a bit of googling revealed this Saudi Supreme Court ruling giving them the green light to use telescopes with the caveat that all telescopes used for moon sighting should be registered with the Saudi Supreme Court beforehand where presumably they will be thoroughly inspected for any potentially haraam elements (like, e.g. a folded up print-out of this webpage)