It is permissible to kill the owners of satellite TV channels which broadcast immoral programmes, said Sheikh Salih Ibn al-Luhaydan, the most senior judge in Saudi Arabia.
He said that some “evil” entertainment programmes aired by the channels promoted debauchery.
Every day millions of Arabs watch dozens of satellite television channels that broadcast across the Middle East.
Speaking on a state radio programme, the judge made the comments in response to a listener who asked his opinion concerning the airing of programmes featuring scantily-dressed women, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“There is no doubt that these programmes are a great evil, and the owners of these channels are as guilty as those who watch them”, said the sheikh.
“It is legitimate to kill those who call for corruption if their evil can not be stopped by other penalties.”
According to Magdi Abdelhadi, BBC Arab affairs analyst, the sheikh’s views cannot be easily dismissed, considering his position as the country’s most senior judge.
BBC correspondent added that for the Saudi royal family, clerics like Sheikh al-Luhaydan represent a huge dilemma.
Even though on the one hand Saudi rulers need their support to claim that they rule in the name of Islam, on the other hand, when the country’s top judge calls for the beheading of those he views as immoral broadcasters, fighting militant Islam can be difficult.