Idolizing football stars against Islam: Samastha's call against soccer addiction

The preachers will read out the message during the delivery of Friday sermons (Jumu’ah) in mosques across the state. Screengrab: Manorama News

Malappuram: As the football mania has reached its crescendo in Kerala, thanks to the spectacular start to the FIFA World Cup, an influential Muslim organisation has made a call to believers not to idolize football stars and go crazy over the game, terming them as “anti-Islamic acts.”

Samastha Kerala Jem-iyyathul Ulama, which is mainly headed by Sunni clerics, reasoned that such addiction to the game and over-idolizing the star players are against the monotheism (worship only Allah) beliefs.

The setting up of huge cut-outs is simply an act of extravaganza and it’s very much wrong to support countries like Portugal. The preachers will read out the message during the delivery of Friday sermons (Jumu’ah) in mosques across the state.

The organisation asked the believers how their unbridled support to the Portuguese, who indulged in the maximum colonial invasion of India, exploiting our rich resources, could be justified. Similarly, the support to nations hostile towards Islam… The believers being misled in this way can’t be justified in any manner,” the body said.

Giant flex boards of football stars Cristiano Ronaldo, hailing from Portugal, Lionel Messi (Argentina), and Neymar (Brazil), have been erected at all nooks and corners of the state, especially in the football-crazy northern region.

Also, a majority of the youths in the state back football giants Brazil to win the World Cup and are glued to the television watching the matches live.

Individuals have the right to worship their stars: Min

General Education Minister V Sivankutty said every person is entitled to worship their favourites just like Samastha has the right to speak against football addiction.

He made the remarks while attending the centenary celebrations of Azhchavattam Government Higher Secondary School in Kozhikode.

"It is up to the individual whether to worship stars or not. Be it listening to music or watching football or even going for a walk in the morning, it is an individual's personal liberty that is granted by the Constitution. It is not up to religious organisations to make that call for them," said the minister.

Don't mix sports and religion: Sports minister

Sports minister V Abdurahiman said on Friday that we should not unnecessarily trigger football lovers by mixing sports and religion. "Both are different. Prayer will happen at its time and those interested will take part in it. The love for players is a common feeling among sports aficionados," said the minister. 

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