[Marxism] A fatwa against chess?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Jan 24 06:52:31 MST 2016

Abdul-Latif Halimi (on Facebook)
3 hrs ·

Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti says chess is Haram (impermissible).
Okay, no problem.
Do you know what else is Haram?
Six of the seven worst countries for child mortality (deaths at birth) 
are Muslim. In Afghanistan, one in seven children die at birth, while in 
Japan it's 1 in 500.
Seven of the ten worst countries for literacy in the world are 
Muslim-majority. In Niger, a country where 99% of people are Muslim, 
only 19% of people know how to write their name.
Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Algeria and Nigeria --- 
with a combined 800 million Muslims --- don't have a single university 
ranked in the world's top 300 (QS, 2015).
California, a US state, has a bigger economy than Turkey, Saudi Arabia, 
Egypt and Pakistan combined.
Pakistan has had 70 polio workers killed in the past five years, has the 
world's highest volume of internet searches for gay pornography, and 
shows more collective emotion over a cricket game than the 
mass-slaughter of Syrians.
Bosnia's unemployment rate is 43%. Lebanon is a rubbish dump. Cairo is 
the sleaziest city in the world and one of the most polluted. Jordan is 
overrun with refugee girls having to prostitute themselves to eat.
200,000 killed in Syria. Thousands forgotten in Egypt's prisons. Iraq, 
Libya and Yemen are death. The Mediterranean Sea is a graveyard for the 
Ummah's children.
You want to talk to me about Haram? You want to talk to me about chess 
and Mawlid? You want to tell me Jinn stories and the seven thousand 
steps to a successful marriage?
But the leaders, scholars and preachers of the Muslim World need to 
wisen up to the political, social, economic and military catastrophes 
paralysing us; we should talk about Syria, endemic poverty and modern 
ideological confusion a thousand times more than we do about chess, 
moonsighting or whether it's permissible to eat mermaid meat (yes, 
there's a fatwa on that).
The Ummah's discourse and focuses MUST mature and change to the big and 
pressing issues before we can lift ourselves out of this mess.

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