|A King piece sans the cross.|
Traditional chess kings have a cross on the top (a design that has been in use for centuries). But this year in the UAE, they’ve removed the cross and replaced it with an Islamic crescent. A veteran chess player tells me: “In my entire life playing chess I have never seen such a thing.”
There’s a basic undercurrent of intolerance to the obsessive need to remake everything in your own image and destroy what is not yours in a fit of xenophobia.
The same impulse that led the Taliban to blow up the statues in Afghanistan led the UAE, whose people have sent plenty of money to the Taliban and Al Qaeda, to try and Islamize the chess set.
|Afghanistan's giant Bamiyan Buddhas before and after crazy Talibanic destruction.|
Chess as we know it had to be recreated in Europe once the dark shadow of Islam fell over the chessboard. This is what proper Islamic chess pieces looked like.
|Islamic chess pieces.|
|Original Indian chess pieces.|
Islam erases culture and identity. It eliminates character and personality. It exchanges creativity for a totalitarian facelessness. The sterility of the Islamic chess set is also the sterility of any society that falls under the shadow of Islam.
(Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.)