28 January 2016

Thousands of Comments

Even before the most recent Video Friday post, No Comment -- about a video titled 'Saudi Arabia king (sic) Grand Mufti bans chess, says forbidden in Islam' -- I had already spotted a related Yahoo article. Its introduction is shown below.

Twitter erupts after Saudi cleric says chess is forbidden

The Grand Mufti and the Saudi cleric are one-and-the-same, but what exactly is a Grand Mufti?

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia is the most senior and most influential Muslim religious and legal authority in Saudi Arabia. The holder of the position is appointed by the King. The Grand Mufti is the head of the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Issuing Fatwas. • Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia [Wikipedia]

One reason I like Yahoo articles (last seen earlier this month in Hunk-o'-Junk Chess) is their comment section. A few years ago we had Mainstream Comments on Magnus and The Graffiti Wall - Is Chess a Sport? (both December 2013), and the 'Chess Is Forbidden' theme promised to be another trove of mainstream wisdom. Indeed, the number of comments swelled from around 500 when I first noted the Yahoo article to over 2300 when I started preparing this post.

Unfortunately, most of the comments that I read showed the same sort of intolerance for Islam that the Grand Mufti showed for chess. I'll continue to scroll through them as I watch the final rounds of the 2016 Tata tournament, but don't expect a follow-up on this subject.

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