Islamist group protests World Cup

An Islamist group in southern India believe many youths in the region have "gone mad" over football during the World Cup Finals and are trying to dissuade them from watching matches.

    "Wherever you go, you see (youths) wearing jerseys of various teams. It's like idol worship which our religion doesn't promote in any form," said Sattar Pathallur, secretary of the Sunni Students Federation in Malappuram district of Kerala state.

    "Youths and students are behaving as if they had gone mad," said Pathallur.
      
    "I firmly believe that there is a conspiracy to divert the attention of Muslim youth to an unproductive exercise."

    Some 63 percent of the 3.62 million population of the district are Muslims, many of whom prefer football to cricket, India's national sport.

    The organisation is keen to stress that they are not against the principle of following football but felt many youths were taking it to extremes.

    "We are not against football. But we are worried about the soccer mania gripping our people. It's unprecedented," said Hameed Ali Shihab Thangal, regional president of the federation.

    To achieve its aims the organization has been holding religious lessons, rallies and public meetings to encourage youths to tone down their passion for the World Cup.

    However, not everyone agrees with the actions of the federation.

    "It's absurd. These people are talking nonsense. Malappuram people are great fans of soccer. It's natural for them to watch their great heroes in action," said schoolteacher Labeed Areekode, also a football player.

    Others were simply unimpressed.
      
    "The critics of soccer are scoring only own goals as nobody is going to listen to them," said Najimudeen Koya, a World Cup enthusiast.
      
    Others said the group were also worried that the sport was becoming increasingly popular among women.

     

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.