A popular Indonesian Muslim cleric has issued a fatwa against taking selfies leading to a series of defiant selfies shared by scores of locals.

Felix Siauw, a locally well-known author and speaker, has poured scorn on “shameless” women who post their selfies, and has questioned their “purity”.

In a barrage of tweets, the 30-year-old cleric, who calls himself a “servant of Allah” and a seeker to “establish Shariah-caliphate”, explained why selfies should be avoided by Muslims.

Siauw wrote: “If we take a selfie, sift through and choose our best pose, and then we’re awed and impressed by ourselves – worryingly, that’s called PRIDE.”

In another post, he said: “These days many Muslim women take selfies without shame. There are usually nine frames in one photo with facial poses that are just – My Goodness – where’s the purity in women?”

Nonetheless, his remarks have sparked outrage on Twitter and other social media platforms with several Indonesians posting their own selfies in defiance.

The hashtag “#Selfie4Siauw” had also begun trending on Twitter.