Saturday, October 08, 2005

Islamist Ministry of Silly Soccer

In a speech at the Ronald Reagan Building on October 6, President Bush stated that the Islamists want to "establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia." This is, indeed, their goal. Bush points out, correctly, that "[w]e know the vision of the radicals because they've openly stated it -- in videos, and audiotapes, and letters, and declarations, and websites."

And in fatwas. Don't forget the fatwas, those ubiquitous legal rulings on . . . well, on everything from how to carry out an execution to how to clean oneself after passing feces.

And on the proper way to play soccer. Let's look at how soccer would be played in a revived Caliphate stretching from Spain to Indonesia.

According to a fatwa issued by Sheikh 'Abdallah Al-Najdi in 2003 and published on an Arabic website, "Soccer is Forbidden Except When Played as Training for Jihad."

And how might one train in that way?

Well, first . . . okay, fifth, but getting dressed should come first. Fifth is proper attire:

"5. Play in your normal clothing, or in pajamas, or something like that, but not in colorful pants and numbered jerseys. Pants and jerseys are not appropriate clothing for Muslims. They are the clothing of the non-believers and of the West, and therefore you must be careful not to wear them."

Pajamas? I was wrong about getting dressed first? Okay, pajamas, but presumably not the colorful Western sort, especially not if adorned with images of such unclean animals as Piglet.

Islamists, after all, do know where to draw the line:

"1. Don't play soccer with four lines [surrounding the field], since this is the way of the non-believers, and the international soccer rules require drawing [these lines] before playing."

And watch your language on the field:

"2. One should not use the terminology established by the non-believers and the polytheists, like: 'foul,' 'penalty kick,' 'corner kick,' 'goal,' and 'out of bounds.' Whoever pronounces these terms should be punished, reprimanded, kicked out of the game, and should even be told in public: 'You have come to resemble the non-believers and the polytheists, and this has been forbidden.'"

Right. No 'foul' language or the like. Not even if you break a bone:

"3. If one of you falls during the game and breaks his hand or his foot, or if the ball hits his hand, he shall not say 'foul' and shall not stop playing because of his injury. The one who caused his injury shall not receive a yellow or a red card, but rather the case shall be judged according to Muslim law in the case of a broken bone or an injury. The injured player shall exercise his rights according to the shari'a, as [is stated] in the Koran, and you must testify together with him that so-and-so tripped him up intentionally."

No slackers in this sport. "Keep playing on that broken foot!" (Sounds like a coach that I once had.)

But who's to judge infractions according to Islamic law, a referee? Nope:

"10. Do not appoint someone who follows the players around and is called 'a referee', since, after canceling the international rules such as 'foul,' 'penalty kick,' 'corner kick' and so on, there is no need for his presence. Moreover, his presence is an imitation of non-believers, Jews and Christians, and constitutes adoption of the international [soccer] rules."

No referees running around? Fine, but does anyone sit in judgement? Perhap . . . a judge? The fatwa doesn't specify whether or not a judge should pass sentences on infractions of the rules . . . uh, laws of shari'a, but such would be consistent with point number three, above.

Does each infraction of the shari'a require a visit to an Islamic court? Or would a judge be required to attend each game? Does each player have a lawyer, or just each team?

Shari'a games could take a long time.

This sort of fatwa sounds like something out of Monty Python, the skit on the "Ministry of Silly Walks," for instance. It might even qualify as "The Funniest Joke in the World."

Except that they're dead serious.


At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truly best comedy is unintentional.

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Like the recent remarks of my five-year-old son, En-Uk:

Those were unintentional and very funny, but if someone had said them with the intent to be funny . . . well, who would have laughed?


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