Fatwa Against Soccer

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It appears that one Islamic extremist has issued a Fatwa against playing soccer by the regular rules. Here are some choice examples.

​4. Do not follow the heretics, the Jews, the Christians and especially evil America regarding the number of players. Do not play with 11 people. Instead, add to this number or decrease it.

​5. Play in your regular clothes or pajamas or something like that, but not colored shorts and numbered T-shirts, because shorts and T-shirts are not Muslim clothing. Rather they are heretical and Western clothing, so beware of imitating their fashion

​8. Do not play in two halves. Rather play in one half or three halves in order to completely differentiate yourselves from the heretics, the polytheists, the corrupted and the disobedient.

Thanks to Walt for sending this to me.

I should note that this is edict was issued by an extremist and is not representative of general Islamic scholarship and thought. I am still waiting for the Christian set of soccer rules. They might look something like…

​1. A woman shall not be allowed to referee as it sayeth in the Bible, 1 Timothy 2:12 “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man”. If a woman attempteth to have authority and become a judge, her name and character shall be impugned and criticism by other Christians appeareth in every newspaper.

​2. Whence the ball shall enter the goal, the goal shall be postponed till the scorer recite a verse from memory chosen at random by the referee. Afterwards, to celebrate, the team shall be allowed to pray, but not cheer.

​3. Players shall not lust after scoring a goal for lust is sinful. Only through prayer and should the good lord will it, shall a goal be allowed. One who scores a goal shall not say “I scored a goal” but merely say, “The Lord Jesus Scored a Goal and I was merely his vessel.”

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11 responses

  1. Avatar for james
    james October 17th, 2005

    you should take this article off, it is obviously not representative of Islamic teachings. It is a modern islamic extremist, you are going to create enemies with muslim readers

  2. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked October 17th, 2005

    Hi James,

    I changed the wording of the post to highlight the fact that these are the words of an extremist and not the general Muslim population.

    I find it humorous because of my love of soccer, not because of the particular faith of the one issuing the edict. As the article points out, the point of publicizing this list is to highlight the absurdity of the extremists and to promote the more common views of Islam.

    So I mean no ill will to the Muslim community. In case this is still deemed offensive, I added some Christian soccer rules to make sure I piss off both sides of the religious divide.

  3. Avatar for Doesn't seem right to me
    Doesn't seem right to me October 17th, 2005

    So you've made sure that you don't offend Muslims (very careful to point out it's extremists) but made sure that you added Christians to offend them. But an Islamic extremist said it and your Christian statement is made up. Do you feel better now or do you realize that was just silly?

  4. Avatar for Walt
    Walt October 17th, 2005

    I sent this to Phil, because I know he enjoys soccer. As a Christian, I choose not to be offended by his "Christian" rules. For example, it is (hopefully) clear that applying the verse in Timothy (that Phil has taken out of context) to a refuree is absurd. This comparison highlights the absurdity of the Fatwa by analogy. Phil never indicated that the Fatwa was representative of Islamic teachings. He left it to his intelligent readers to figure that out.

    As you can see, the article was included in the Opinions section of the Herald Tribune (and the New York Times I might add). Those offended by Phil's post can exercise their right to free speach by objecting with a comment, but I suggest that they also write a letter to the editor of those papers. Does James think that the New York Times should retract its editorial?

    I don't think that potentially sensitive subjects should be off limits or ignored, and I think that humor helps us to make sense of a world that is becoming more and more difficult to understand (Chris Rock and the Daily Show are but two great examples).

  5. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked October 17th, 2005

    Silly? Of course.

    Walter gets the point above. The point of adding my extremist "Christian" rules was not to appease potentially offended Muslims, it was to highlight the absurdity of applying any sort of religious "law" too stringently to other institutions (namely Soccer).

    If you choose to be offended by that, I suggest you grow a sense of humor because life can be quite unbearable without it.

  6. Avatar for Doesn't seem right to me
    Doesn't seem right to me October 17th, 2005

    I think you missed my point completely. I'm not in the least bit offended by either. My point was that there was no reason to back-off and feel like you were offending someone just by pointing out something that was truly said. I think you were afraid of letting it stand on its own.

    You're quite right that humor is very important. I just think that my sense of humor is capable of understanding that all Muslims are not evil without having been to be told so.

    James points out the obvious point that not all Muslims are extremists. You respond by updating your entry to point this out and make sure to add an analogous (but fictional) story about a Christian extremist. When someone (me) points this out to you, your response is to tell me not to be offended. Do you see where you went wrong here? You should have give the exact response that you gave me to James in the first place.

    We shouldn't treat ourselves like children and bend over backwards so as not to offend anyone. That was what I thought was silly.

  7. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked October 18th, 2005

    Ah! I absolutely did miss your point. My apologies.

    I actually thought you were James. I agree that we all shouldn't have to bend over backwards trying not to offend each other.

    But I also want to be sensitive to certain realities. For example, there has been an undeserved backlash against Muslims in America, where many ignorant folks assume that ALL Muslims are associated with terrorists. This is obviously far from the truth in the same way we know that not all white people are redneck terrorists despite the example of Timothy McVeigh.

    Whether intentional or not, I do not want to fuel such prejudices. So I took a step back. It's was my choice.

    As for adding the fictional Christian rules, that was to take a potshot at my friend Walter. I enjoy busting his chops, but he's a bigger man than me, pointing out theological ways I could have even been funnier.

  8. Avatar for Wessam Zeidan [MVP]
    Wessam Zeidan [MVP] October 19th, 2005

    Hello Phil, my name is Wessam Zeidan. I'm a Microsoft ASP.NET MVP....and I'm a Muslim. I've read your post, and I've read the article on Herald Tribune, and I want to share what I felt after reading those...Honestly.....I cracked up laughing :D...I seriously think its some kind of joke, and if these fatwas where really true, then the person who made them up was either drunk, or he's a big fan of basketball and wants his soccer loving friends to dump soccer and switch to basketball....loooool

    As I said, I'm a Muslim, and I'm a big soccer fan...I love watching soccer and playing soccer (but with all the new cool features of asp.net 2.0, I'm finding it so hard to leave my laptop to do any thing else :P).....These extremists are misleading people, by hiding the true Islam and making up a version of their own.......

  9. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked October 19th, 2005

    Wessam, that was exactly the reaction I had. I laughed my ass off. Anybody who thinks this is representative of Muslims or Islam is a complete idiot. But there are those idiots out there...

    In any case, we all know the fastest growing religion in the world is Soccer anyways. ;)

  10. Avatar for Quddus
    Quddus October 4th, 2007

    Salaamun. (Peace).
    That man is right, the uniforms are Kaafir clothing.
    He who wears the clothes of the Kufaar is of them.
    Salaamun. (Peace).

  11. Avatar for amir
    amir November 20th, 2008

    I am a non practicing muslim... basically, believe in god and doing well. and any religion. I am glad you put this on the site as it show how ignorant the extremists are!... THeir mentality, way of thinking and approach to todays life style is ridiculous. as a soccer lover, I appreciate the humor in it as well.