Friday, January 15, 2010

Allah an Egypt soccer supporter?

A superstitious soccer coach seeks outside intervention:

Egypt coach Hassan Shehata wants only players who observe Islam, and says team selection is based equally on religious piety and skill.

Shehata's comments, published in Egyptian newspapers, show how sports and religion are increasingly mixing in the overwhelmingly Muslim nation of some 80 million.

The intrusion of religion into sports is part of the country's gradual movement toward religious conservatism over the last few decades, with more people praying at mosques, most women adopting the Islamic veil in public, and diminishing tolerance for secular Muslims or minority Christians.

The ploy ain't working:

Egypt last qualified for the World Cup in 1990.

Allah bestows his blessings on those with foot-skills, which explains why no predominantly Muslim country has ever won the World Cup. More time practicing; less than praying should improve on-field perfromance. Sure the less than pious will end up in Hell, but everything in life has trade-offs.


Anonymous Dan Lewis said...

Then again, perhaps if a local Mufti issued a Fatwa offering, say, five virgins per man if they won the World Cup...

The promise of virgins seems to get results elsewhere for the Muslims.

Frankly given the choice between losing their cherry to a World Cup winner or a bearded bloke whose former innards were decorating the walls of a building, I'd say the virgins will be picking footballers over Jihadis, every time.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who this Dan Lewis person is or what he/she is on about?

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Legal Eagle said...

I've never quite understood the mix of religion and sport. I've speculated before on what happens if two devoutly religious soccer teams pray to God to win their match against one another... Do the devoutly religious believe He balances the competing prayers, and that the winner is the more righteous before God? Personally, I don't believe that God can operate like that. All one can pray for is the strength to practice and compete.

Saladin (one of the most successful Muslim generals in the Crusades) was criticised for not going on Hajj. Would you rather have a devout man who lost battles, or a slightly less devout one who won battles? Heh, I'm a pragmatist, I would want the less devout one who concentrated more on the challenge before him and less on God.

6:37 AM  

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