(Crisis Magazine) -- That’s the headline on an NBC story about the Egyptian sports star who plays for the Liverpool soccer club. Salah prays before each game and prostrates himself in prayer after every goal he scores. He is also popular with fans, contributes to charities and is featured in an anti-drug campaign video.
According to the story, Salah’s unapologetic expression of his faith on the soccer field “sends a remarkable message.” What is the remarkable message? Answer: “Salah is living, breathing proof of the multilayered identity possessed by so many Muslims in Britain.” Moreover, he is a “human rebuttal” to “Islamophobes” and “far-right populists” who fear that Muslims pose an “existential threat.” “He is someone who embodies Islam’s values and wears his faith on his sleeve,” observes Miqdaad Versi, the assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, “He is not the solution to Islamophobia, but he can play a major role.”
By coincidence, on the day before the article appeared, a judge in Leeds sent another sort of message. On that day one of England’s chief “Islamophobes” was arrested, brought before the judge, summarily tried, sentenced to 13 months, and transported to Hull Prison—all within a period of about three hours. Tommy Robinson, a long-time activist against police inaction in the matter of Muslim rape gangs was arrested when live streaming a Facebook video while outside a courthouse where several men were on trial for their participation in one of those gangs. Robinson was charged with “breaching the peace.”
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