Saudi Arabia's grand mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh has declared war on chess. The strategy game, he said in a reply in a television show in which viewers ask religious questions, is a waste of time, encourages gambling and causes hatred between players.
The video, uploaded on YouTube, created a storm of reactions on Twitter, where people poked jokes about the fatwa (religious edict) and life in Saudi Arabia, where many everyday activities people around the world take for granted are banned, starting with the ban on the driving of women to the prohibition which bans cinemas.
Under the hashtag #مفتي_المملكه_يحرم_لعبه_الشطرنج, which translates to “The Mufti of Saudi Arabia bans chess”, many took turns ridiculing Saudi Arabia for its long list of prohibitions.
Naser Al Shehali writes:
— أ / ناصر السهلي (@nasser22662) January 20, 2016
What does he know about chess? He thinks chess is gambling just like he thinks the cinema is a disco!!
#مفتي_المملكة_يحرم_لعبة_الشطرنج هو حيتمدد ويحرم الحياة كلها ضياع وقت وجهد ومال ، نموت اوفر 😂
— Moony ♧ (@55Mmon) January 20, 2016
He will expand it and prohibit all of life as it is a waste of time and effort and money. It would make more sense if we die.
And Hatem jokes:
#مفتي_المملكه_يحرم_لعبه_الشطرنج يقال ان مفتي المملكة كان فاشل بهذي اللعبة منذ صغره وصار متعقد منها بسبب كثرة الهزايم قام حرمها 😤😤
— Hatemتوشكاا (@7atem5511) January 20, 2016
It seems that the Mufti of Saudi Arabia has been a loser in this game since he was a child and has become annoyed because of his loss so he banned it
Others complained about the dwindling opportunities for entertainment in the absolute conservative monarchy, where the state religion is Wahabbism, the alma mater of jihadist group ISIS:
#مفتي_المملكة_يحرم_لعبة_الشطرنج نلاحظ ان جميع أدوات التسلية والترفية في هذا البلد محرمه كل ما يجعلك تستمتع بحياتك هنا هو حرام حرمت عيشتكم !
— Dema (@3enkab_3) January 20, 2016
We notice that all forms of entertainment in this country is forbidden. Anything that makes you enjoy life is not allowed!
Noor Almosawii adds:
#مفتي_المملكة_يحرم_لعبة_الشطرنج .. الأمور الحلال صارت تنعد على الأصابع !
— نور الموسوي (@nooralmosawii) January 20, 2016
This things that are halal (religiously allowed) can now be counted on one hand
And others widened the circle, complaining about other aspects in life in Saudi Arabia, which they say clergymen turn a blind eye to:
#مفتي_المملكة_يحرم_لعبة_الشطرنج من أحق بالتحريم الشطرنج ام الظلم والاستبداد !
— كادح (@mind_thinker) January 20, 2016
What should be forbidden? Chess or oppression and tyranny?
And this Twitter user has a question:
— كاتبة ساخرة/ ⓝⓐⓣⓐⓢⓗⓐ (@nana1211o) January 20, 2016
Chess is forbidden, but the blood of 8,000 innocent civilians in Yemen, which is bombarded, is …