Sheikhmate? Preacher says chess is 'worse than pork'

Sheikhmate? Preacher says chess is 'worse than pork'
Muslim chess lovers should probably look for a new hobby for the new year, after a Turkish preacher said the game is worse than eating pork and gambling.
1 min read
03 Jan, 2017
The sheikh accused chess players of sinning [Getty]
A popular Turkish preacher kicked off the New Year by dampening the spirits of all aspiring Muslim chess players by suggesting budding grandmasters are committing a sin greater than gambling and eating pork.

Ahmet Mahmut Ünlü described chess players as "cursed" and confidently claimed that "most people who played chess are liars".

"Playing chess is worse than gambling and eating pork ... People who play chess are more prone to lying than others," he pointed out.

Still not convinced? Good, because the warnings do not end there.

The sheikh – who has already ranked the sinful game ahead of most prohibitions in Islamic jurisprudence – even went as far as suggesting "people who play chess may not say the shahada [declaration of Islamic belief] while they are dying".

But fear not, young... err Ali(?), because the wise sheikh has not left you idle and hobby-less for the rest of the year.

"You should count your prayer beads instead of playing games like this," he suggested.