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Seven things Saudi Arabia should definitely ban instead of banning chess

by in news

The chief religious leader in Saudi Arabia has condemned chess as a "a waste of time and an opportunity to squander money."

"It causes enmity and hatred between people,” according to Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti (picture above), who seems to be interpreting the game really, really wrong.

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The top cleric has now said the game is "forbidden", and although he doesn't have the power to outright ban the game, his opinion is highly influential.

Which is why we wish he'd add a few more things to his "forbidden" list. Like...

1. Lashing pensioners

Sentencing 74-year-old pensioner Karl Andree to 360 lashes for possessing alcohol is probably a tiny bit more immoral than chess, but that might just be us.

2. Beheading

Top tip: if you're trying to reduce "enmity and hatred between people", not beheading people as a form of justice is a good place to start.

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3. Child jockeys

Although the annual King's camel race sounds fun, the fact that children are frequently injured taking part really isn't.

4. Human rights violations

Saudi Arabia is one of very few countries in the world that don't accept the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Considering it was established in 1948, it's probably about time to take a look.

5. Discriminating against women

The list of injustices Saudi women face is colossal, ranging from not being allowed to drive, to extreme difficulty obtaining divorce.

Although domestic violence against women was criminalised in 2013, the Grand Mufti has a lot left to work on before he should be allowed to tackle the tricky issue of chess.

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6. Inequality

Despite having one of the world's most powerful economies, a quarter of Saudis live in poverty. Hey, King Salman, fancy sharing some of that multi-billion dollar personal fortune?

7. Monopoly

Way, way more immoral than chess.





More: Is Iran really in any position to be critical of Saudi Arabia's executions record?

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