Taliban Bans Neckties, Lipstick, Chess

July 19, 2001 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Taliban Bans Neckties, Lipstick, Chess
The radio quoted the leader's order as telling border guards and security agencies to seize the banned items and hand them over to the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which acts as the Taliban's religious police.

oh yeah, it has long been known that chess is an evil, evil game...
posted by bwg (23 comments total)
Well good for them!

If you're going to do the loopy authoritarian routine, you might as well do it right.

(Hey... what's up with Spell Checker? All I got was an "about" screen...)
posted by silusGROK at 9:04 AM on July 19, 2001

Chess, a vice?

"Listen, I'll bet you $40 I can beat you in 7 moves or less."

"You're on!!! Set 'em up!!"
posted by Cavatica at 9:05 AM on July 19, 2001

It's times like this when you have to realize that if the separation of church and state in this country only goes as far as giving special privileges to faith-based charities, we're in pretty good shape. Not that that's in any way desirable, but given a choice between the two...

This country's definitely going down the tubes, but I read something like that and I have to shut my mouth for at least a little while.
posted by MonkeyMeat at 9:07 AM on July 19, 2001

Chess is so... bourgeois.
posted by geir at 9:16 AM on July 19, 2001

I'm not sure we have the right - or the means - to stop them from doing whatever they want. Remember, these are the same guys who bled the Russkies dry through the '80s. They are tough mofos, motivated, armed to the teeth, and afraid of dying about as much as you and I are afraid of accidently drinking spoiled milk. It's easy to call them nutcases and maniacs, but you can't just dismiss them. PLUS, they are right there in the hot corner of Pakistan, Iran and Uzbekistan. If a shooting war breaks out in Kashmir, the mujahadeen are going to go on the jihad against India; Iran is modernizing, and I'm sure that generates zero laffs in Kabul, so it could be that the muj decide to take their show on the road westward, show Tehran the error of her ways AND pick up some good oil fields in the process.

It's a crazy place. I just wish that they'd worry a little more about feeding themselves and less about whether "items made from human hair" are prohibited by the Koran.
posted by UncleFes at 9:19 AM on July 19, 2001

>oh yeah, it has long been known that chess is an evil, evil game...

Well, the bishops are obviously anti-Islamic, and do the queens wear veils? I don't think so.
posted by faceonmars at 9:51 AM on July 19, 2001

let's not forget that the knights are reminiscent of the crusades, and as for rooks, they're so medieval england...
posted by bwg at 10:00 AM on July 19, 2001

I can work up a fair amount of outrage over the Taliban's reported treatment of women and religious minorities. But if they feel like banning chess, it seems like an internal matter to me.

And, frankly, I wish they'd outlaw neckties in the good old US of A.
posted by anapestic at 10:32 AM on July 19, 2001

Amen, anapestic. And suits. And pants. Hell, ban all clothing...
posted by fooljay at 10:50 AM on July 19, 2001

so i take it the taliban are this administration's bad guys?

with bush sr. it was iraq, but junior's decided to go with a new group?
posted by jcterminal at 10:57 AM on July 19, 2001

"The word Chess is thought to be derived from "shah," the Persian word for king, and the word checkmate from shah mat, meaning 'the king is dead.'"
( http://www.chess-poster.com/english/history.htm)

Zealous etymologists in the Taliban?
posted by kurumi at 11:11 AM on July 19, 2001

This isn't the first time chess has been banned in the Islamic world, actually. The first time was in 638, six years after Muhammad's death. So, I guess there's actually some precedent here.
posted by darukaru at 12:08 PM on July 19, 2001

Well, ok, it was a chess-ancestor that was banned.
posted by darukaru at 12:15 PM on July 19, 2001

Do any bells go off in anyone else's head about the badges non-Muslims have to wear? Yeesh.
posted by sabbydarling at 12:28 PM on July 19, 2001

*backs the truck up*
What's wrong with the Taliban being viewed as bad guys? They're pretty bad in my book.
posted by tomorama at 12:36 PM on July 19, 2001

I wonder if Go is an acceptable game for Muslims...

Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice

This almost sounds straight out of 1984 if it weren't so wordy. "Ministry of Happiness" perhaps?

Banning chess may not be as weighty as the Taliban's attitude towards women, but it's a good sign that they've gone waaaaay over the edge of reason.
posted by daveadams at 12:46 PM on July 19, 2001

Bad guys? Aren't we giving them foreigh aid for not selling drugs or something like that?
posted by harmful at 1:02 PM on July 19, 2001

What a surprise... another Taliban-bashing post on MeFi.


C'mon folks -- the coup is over. Get over it. Most Afghanis are ready to move on.
posted by Dirjy at 1:48 PM on July 19, 2001

When comparing the fundamentalist Taliban Afghanistan to the secular Turkey, Afghanistan at least comes accross as less hypocritical. Secular Turkey features a thriving naturalist community and has banned all Islamic prayer calling. They even jailed an American cleric for praying in a congregation. Now secular Turkey is banning non virgin females from access to education at medical schools. At least the Taliban complete and total ban on women's access to education is a lot less hypocritical than the secular Turkish conditional, virtue based access to higher education laws.
[Warning: The two naturalist community links contains nudity.]
posted by tamim at 4:00 PM on July 19, 2001

I guess Turkey just goes to show that you don't need to be run by religious nutballs to have a medieval approach to human rights. (But it helps.)
posted by darukaru at 12:35 AM on July 20, 2001

those crazy arabs...first it was cat stevens and now this?

next they'll be gunning for uno and phil collins...

posted by modofo at 12:39 AM on July 20, 2001

neither turks nor afghans are arabs. but I think you're right about phil collins
posted by chaz at 1:26 AM on July 20, 2001

taliban schmaliban...
posted by modofo at 1:27 AM on July 20, 2001

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