The London Review of Books was rightfully criticised for putting up a racist post on the World Cup in South Africa, and then refusing to take it down or give an explanation for why it was eventually taken down.
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Muslims in Malaysia warned from wearing the jersey of Manchester United (spit):
Manchester United and the rest of the English Premier League are massively popular in Muslim-majority Malaysia and the rest of the Asian region, but conservative religious scholars said the jersey is un-Islamic.
Also off limits are the shirts of teams including Brazil, Portugal, Barcelona, Serbia and Norway, all of which carry images of the cross on their team emblems.
“This is very dangerous. As a Muslim, we should not worship the symbols of other religions or the devils,” Nooh Gadot, a top Islamic cleric from the southern Johor state, told AFP.
If Manchester United are genuinely worried about a slump in sales, they could follow the example of Glasgow Rangers and produce a ‘Muslim friendly’ version of their hideous jersey.
Somali militant group claims responsibility for Uganda blasts:
A powerful Al Qaeda-affiliated militant faction in Somalia claimed responsibility Monday for two bomb attacks in Uganda’s capital that killed at least 74 people who had gathered to watch a broadcast of Sunday’s World Cup championship game, sparking fears that the country’s long and bloody conflict may spill into neighboring countries.
The twin bombings in Kampala, within minutes of one another, were the first known attacks the group known as Al Shabab, or “The Youth,” has mounted outside Somali borders.
The attacks that tore through a rugby club and an Ethiopian restaurant as fans watched Spain play the Netherlands were designed to punish Uganda for its part in a United Nations-backed peacekeeping force in Somalia to protect the country’s weak transitional government, a spokesman for the group said.
The French, their superior political model and sophisticated culture:
While most politicians have talked carefully of values and patriotism, rather than immigration and race, some legislators blasted the players as “scum,” “little troublemakers” and “guys with chickpeas in their heads instead of a brain,” according to news reports.
Fadela Amara, the junior minister for the racially charged suburbs who was born to Algerian parents, warned on Tuesday that the reaction to the team’s loss had become racially charged.
“There is a tendency to ethnicize what has happened,” she told a gathering of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s governing party, according to news reports. “Everyone condemns the lower-class neighborhoods. People doubt that those of immigrant backgrounds are capable of respecting the nation.”
She criticized Mr. Sarkozy’s handling of a debate on “national identity,” warning that “all democrats and all republicans will be lost” in this ethnically tinged criticism about Les Bleus, the French team. “We’re building a highway for the National Front,” she said, in a reference to the far-right, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim party founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen.
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Catholic Wayne Rooney told to stop talking about his religion in the middle of a press conference:
When Wayne Rooney was asked about the prominent cross he has been wearing during training here he replied: “It’s my religion.” This seemed to open up an interesting new flank in the Rooney story until the Football Association’s head of media relations, Mark Whittle, offered an aside reminiscent of Campbell telling Tony Blair: “We don’t do God.” Whittle replied for Rooney: “We don’t do religion.” Rooney, currently an officer of state of Blairite proportions, had already offered enough information to offer an intriguing insight into his Catholicism, though. Of the cross he said: “I’ve been wearing them for years now and you don’t usually watch training [to see them.] I obviously can’t wear them in games.”
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Sometimes, these stories seem like they’re too ‘good’ to be true (i.e. propaganda):
Gangs of Islamists are reported to be patrolling the areas they control looking for people watching games.
Dedicated fans are watching matches in secret, or in the few areas controlled by government forces.
On Saturday militants killed two people as they attacked a house where people were watching a game.
Militant group Hizbul-Islam also arrested 10 others at the house north-east of the capital Mogadishu where fans were watching the game between Argentina and Nigeria.
Then again, let’s not pretend these kind of people do not exist.
Now imagine it was called Allahakbarries.
A dramatic loss of faith in public:
“I think I was probably quite narrow-minded and fundamental in my views and a bit of a scary person,” the former Olympic champion told Sky News.
“I believed that what I believed was the truth. Some of those extremes I feel slightly embarrassed about now, but overall no regrets.
“It was where I was at the time – it’s not where I am now.”
Edwards added he now thinks it is “nonsense” that praying to God could help a sportsman before a competition.
“My prayers were always that God would give me the strength to do the best that I could do. Somehow athletes feel it’s a lucky charm,” he said.
“They believe that if they believe in God, He will give them the strength to win.
“When you look at the world and there are people starving and dying and suffering, is God going to be so concerned about the outcome of an athletics contest?
“My guess is not. Why would He intervene in something that is just a game?”
This is a man who refused to participate in sporting events held on Sundays, and who comes from a religious family (his father is a vicar).
French football team made up of Muslims refuses to play a football made up of gays:
The Creteil Bebel Muslim team pulled out of its planned tie with Paris Foot Gay (PFG) at the weekend, saying it went against their religious beliefs to play against homosexuals.
The PFG said they would sue Creteil Bebel for homophobia.
Creteil Bebel defended their pullout, saying their religious convictions were much more important than any sporting event.
“As a Muslim, I have the right not to play against homosexuals because I don’t share their ideas,” Zahir Belgarbi, one of the team directors, told France Bleu radio.
They seem a little selective in which ideas they don’t seek to share a football pitch with. Do they oppose teams made up of people who have sex outside of marriage, drink alcohol, eat pork, and wear those embarrassingly tight 1970s football shorts?
More importantly, surely they must have been aware as to who their potential opponents might be when they entered this amateur tournament? If this was a league-style tournament, then they must have known. Even if it was a knockout, they would only have been hedging their bets (haram!) and hope Paris Foot Gay would be knocked out (or they themselves were eliminated from the tournament).