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Islam's side effects sometimes get visible: the case of chess GM Alireza Firouzja

Reader comment on item: Israel's Partial Victory
in response to reader comment: Khamenei's Niece will probably support me.

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Dec 2, 2022 at 23:53

Dear Dr Pipes: Iran, for all their Islamism, has a history of producing prodigious mathematicians and scientists. But, recently I came to know of a chess prodigy from Iran: Alireza Firouzja. Alireza is no different from other chess prodigies. Chess prodigies are young boys and girls who would be riding bikes in their neighborhoods if they did not excel so much in chess. Only rarest of the rare ones of these prodigious boys and girls attain the ranks of chess Grand Masters. Alireza possessed that rare talent.

I would not be writing this note, if Alireza's case was just like other chess prodigies. His case is slightly different. It shows how Islamism hurts humanity in visible ways. It also illustrates how the world so conveniently ignores and forgives Islamic bad deeds. No, luckily no one killed or jailed Alireza. What actually happened was that he had to leave his country. For a few years, he was a stateless player playing under the flag of UNO. After that he became a French citizen. Now he plays for France. Why did he have to go through this trouble? Because Islamic Republic of Iran wont let him play against Israeli Chess players.

Islam's side effect usually show their ugly heads in forms of murders and violence. But they also become visible in our day to day life: young boys --who should be riding bicycles in their neighborhoods-- are not allowed to play against each other because Islam hates Jews. And, because Iran hates Israel.

The problem is not that such a thing as described above happens. The problem is that the world refuses to judge Islam for what it is. ... No, dear Prophet of Islam, Jews are not bad. Christians are not bad. Their books are only slightly different. Their books are not corrupted. And, there is no urgent need to convert them from anything to anything. Likewise, the polytheists are not worthy of hate of any kind. They are not inferiors. Get rid of all thoughts of this kind from your minds. Little Islamic biases here and little Islamic biases there are doing a lot of harm to humanity all over. These biases must be destroyed.

I am only interested in Alireza Firouzja's chess. I hope he plays with more players from more countries and, then, coaches even more prodigies. I hope as he grows he also realizes how much wrong his country and culture have been for making it difficult to play against Israeli players. May he have a good life in France. May all Iranians have good life in Iran.

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