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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    Chess banned in Iraq?

    Saw this in the ACF Bulletin:

    http://sistani.org/html/eng/menu/2/b.../inside/57.htm

    I hate literal interpretations without considering context...
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
    - White Queen, Alice through the Looking-Glass

  2. #2
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Dickinson
    Saw this in the ACF Bulletin:

    http://sistani.org/html/eng/menu/2/b.../inside/57.htm

    I hate literal interpretations without considering context...
    Seems the problem is chess is considered a gambling instrument. Gambling is banned therefore, so is chess. Playing of chess without gambling is also banned (I guess) because it is considered that the main reason people would play chess is for gambling. Like, what else would keep interest in it?

    I assume people will still play chess in private. But the banning of chess in public put an end to tournaments, organisations, competition, etc.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    CC International Master
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    Interesting that with the gambling element removed chess is still banned absolutely whereas boxing and wrestling are fine so long as physical injuries are less than "substantial".

    But does this mean that chess would be banned in law or merely preached against by clerics? Obviously the two are often the same but are there some things that are left to individual conscience, in the same way that in the West even the most rabid Christian would, for example, not advocate jail time for coveting thy neighbour's ox?

  4. #4
    CC FIDE Master
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    Without reading any of the previous facts or the context of the story, I will take the "modern journalistic" approach and still add my comments to the mix.

    Chess being considered a form of gambling resulted in online chess playing being banned in Greece last year under the sweeping legislation designed to crack down on online casinos.

    Secondly, the usual reason for the prohibition of chess in Islamic countries has to do with the representation of human figures as pieces, which is either frowned upon or outright banned depending on which reading of the Koran you choose. Only Allah can create people etc etc etc That is why there is no religious iconography in Islam (eg No statues of the Prophet)

  5. #5
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    According to Tim Krabbe's excellent and humourous website (http://www.xs4all.nl/~timkr/chess2/diary.htm), *playing* chess is "absolutely forbidden", but composing or solving chess problems is not. Krabbe's diary entry is worth a read, if only for a laugh.

  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun
    Without reading any of the previous facts or the context of the story, I will take the "modern journalistic" approach and still add my comments to the mix.

    Chess being considered a form of gambling resulted in online chess playing being banned in Greece last year under the sweeping legislation designed to crack down on online casinos.

    Secondly, the usual reason for the prohibition of chess in Islamic countries has to do with the representation of human figures as pieces, which is either frowned upon or outright banned depending on which reading of the Koran you choose. Only Allah can create people etc etc etc That is why there is no religious iconography in Islam (eg No statues of the Prophet)
    The notion of chess being illegal under Muslim law is by no means new. It exercised the minds of many in the early days of Muslim culture. There is a very interesting (and no doubt accurate) discussion of the matter in Chapter XI of Murray's History of Chess. Briefly, it seems that, at least in early times, both Sunni and Shi'ite muslims took a similar view of chess as being illegal under Muslim law. The main basis of this was the idea that chess had an element of chance in it. The matter of representations of people or animals in carved pieces was a concern to Sunni Muslims but not to Shi'ites. The whole matter was, however, the subject of considerable debate and, in light of this, the view put by Grand Ayatollah Sistani seems to be an over-simplification, or rather just one of a number of possible positions that may be taken on the matter. But then I'm no expert on Muslim law.

    Denis Jessop

  7. #7
    Account Shoutbox Banned antichrist's Avatar
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    I have always thought of an ulterior motive behind such bannings, i.e., chess distracts the populace from thinking about their daily prayers -- who wants to delay a fantastic chess game to point your backside at the Wailing Wall? So it is about control really, just as the commos banned religion.

    The biggest joke is Ramadan - the fasting during daylight hours. The Health Dept has done researach that shows that pigging out in the nightly feista (breaking the fast) results in obesity.

    My Israeli mate told me how there are Jewish butchers in Israel that serve pork, apparently the Russky Jews are used to vodka and pork and so keep the tradition up. It is a wonder that they are not bombed.

  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster arosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist
    I have always thought of an ulterior motive behind such bannings, i.e., chess distracts the populace from thinking about their daily prayers -- who wants to delay a fantastic chess game to point your backside at the Wailing Wall?
    Right. And how about that British general who was so absorbed in his game that he failed to notice the advancing rebel armies? As a result, Britain lost America.

    AR

  9. #9
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist
    The biggest joke is Ramadan - the fasting during daylight hours. The Health Dept has done researach that shows that pigging out in the nightly feista (breaking the fast) results in obesity.
    I fail to see how that warrants Ramadan being labelled a 'joke'. I don't think the idea is to lose weight.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  10. #10
    Account Shoutbox Banned antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Cox
    I fail to see how that warrants Ramadan being labelled a 'joke'. I don't think the idea is to lose weight.
    The joke is that when people are fasting it is either to lose weight or at least stay neutral -- not to put on kilos as they are doing -- it defeats the whole purpose of the fast. The fast becomes a means to an end instead of a pious exercise of self control. Strictly speaking the Health Dept should ban it.

    The Lebo restaurants in the ghettos (which by the way I love) do a roaring trade once the sun sets. They do serve infidels like me during the day but only take-a-away, all the chairs are on top of the tables.

    As Colonel Ingersoll said, an invalid principle blessed by a holy book does not make it right.

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arosar
    Right. And how about that British general who was so absorbed in his game that he failed to notice the advancing rebel armies? As a result, Britain lost America.

    AR
    Haha awesome.. is there a site I can read more about this?
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
    - White Queen, Alice through the Looking-Glass

  12. #12
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist
    The joke is that when people are fasting it is either to lose weight or at least stay neutral -- not to put on kilos as they are doing -- it defeats the whole purpose of the fast. The fast becomes a means to an end instead of a pious exercise of self control. Strictly speaking the Health Dept should ban it.
    The idea of a fast is not to lose weight it is a matter of religious observance. Catholics fast before the sacrament of Communion - but only for 1 hour. Do you think the purpose of this fast is to lose weight?
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  13. #13
    Account Shoutbox Banned antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Cox
    The idea of a fast is not to lose weight it is a matter of religious observance. Catholics fast before the sacrament of Communion - but only for 1 hour. Do you think the purpose of this fast is to lose weight?
    Of course not, weren't you told why, it was so that there is no "dirty" food in with Jesus (in the Holy Communion). Would not pass Health Dept standards of cleaniness. In the old days I think it used to be that you could not eat from midnight. Again people pigging out before sleeping esp if they had go to a later Holy Mass (notice the respectful capitals) the next day.

    I have not got first prizes for Christian Doctrine in my bookshelf for nothing. And my favourite prize is titled "In The Steps of Jesus". There is hope for me yet.

  14. #14
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist
    Of course not
    And likewise Muslim's don't fast during Ramadan to lose weight. Your whole point is absurd. I suggest therefore that you are the joke and that the Department of Health make you illegal.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster arosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Dickinson
    Haha awesome.. is there a site I can read more about this?
    I'm not sure. I read it in one my books at home.

    Anyway, the following day, when the battle was over, the British general was found dead in the ditch with a Queen still in his shirt pocket.

    I'll look up the biblio details and post here.

    AR

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