Check out Hamzah Moin's inspired, subversive suggestions for Islamically-themed board games.
Everywhere I go I see boring board games made by Muslims. Muslim Trivia this. Islamic Quiz that. Why must we bore our Muslim children to death with such uninspired board games? Who thought it would be a good idea to use our brains?
Throw those brains away! I’ve invented some of the best Muslim board games EVER. These would sell like hot cakes. I was inspired by hit board games of today!
I was rolling at the mere sight of the memory game, and the new jail in Monopoly is so brutally funny it could cause cardiac arrest.
My comment on Facebook just now:
Brilliant stuff, though as I said in a comment that's yet to be posted, Masjid Monopoly could be even better if it focused less on ethnicity(some of my suggestions: crazy Salafi inner-city mosque, rich suburban doctors & engineer mosque, New Age Sorta-Sufi mosque, Qadiani Don't-Call-This-a-Mosque, …). That "Sister Section" is pure genius, though.
Then there are parlor games, which offer the true mother lode. A few proposals of my own:
- "Pin the Takfir on the Ummah"
- "Do Interfaith Dialogue and Preach About Islamic Reform Without Taking on Stupid-But-Widespread 'Traditional' Beliefs" (a cross between "Taboo" and "Twister")
- "Talk Like a Feminist But Interpret Like a Caveman" (a variation of the preceding)
- "Let's Steal Sufism" (a game where players vie to formulate the most seductive yet internally incoherent and ahistorical New Age interpretation of Sufism–especially based on the writings of Rumi or Ibn Arabi–delinking it completely from Islamic faith and practice)
- "Respond to Idiotic, Erroneous and/or Deeply Prejudiced Critiques of Islam in post-9/11 America Without Raising Your Voice" (a game that's getting harder and less enjoyable by the day)
- "Caricature Islam So Ridiculously that Only Usama Bin Laden and Robert Spencer Take You Seriously as a Commentator on Islam" (most often played in redneck non-Muslim and hardline Zionist circles, but which has a cult following in Washington DC among Neocon-anointed "moderate Muslims" and ex-Muslim "reformers")
- "Caricature non-Muslim Beliefs so Egregiously That Only Mullahs In Peshawar Recognize Them" (the rage during the 1980s, but now rather out of fashion)
- "List the Differences between Protestants, Catholics and Greek Orthodox" (an extremely challenging game that usually stalls after difference #1–especially among in-Muslim-majority-country-born Muslims–though to be fair most non-Muslim Americans can't do much better)
- "Make Up the Most Fanciful Theory to Explain the Origin of Sufism" (past game-winning gambits: Neoplatonism, crypto-Shiism, Judaism, Colonial Conspiracy, …)*
- "Attack Wahhabis for Beliefs Many Muslims Hold" (an all-time classic: a well known North American Muslim commentator identified sexism and belief in eternal damnation for non-Muslims as hallmarks of Wahhabism; that narrows it down)
- "Find a Mortifying Headline First" (a group scans through a pile of newspapers; the first person to find a story that makes everybody embarrassed to be a Muslim wins)
- "Camouflage Your Questionable Opinion/Hang-up with Decontextualized 'Proofs' from the Quran and Sunnah" (a rare game that truly everyone has an equal chance of winning)
- "Repackage Kneejerk Secular Convictions as 'Progressive Islam'" (a variant of the preceding)
- "Pass Off an Increasingly Untenable, Anachronistic 'Traditional' Belief as Incontrovertibly Confirmed by Ijma"
- "Put a Happy Face on the Latest Tragedy/Outrage 'Back Home'" (perhaps the most challenging of them all)
[Strictly speaking, this belongs in a non-Muslim list.]
One could go on forever. I haven't felt this inspired to create since Haroon Mughal's "Desi X-Men," which (sadly) no longer appears to be available online.
* All of these have been argued by Muslim "scholars" at various times. The latter-most was voiced by a professor at Al-Azhar, of all places, only a few years ago.