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After the recent FA’s decision regarding them, how did the fasting players become ambassadors for Islam in Europe?

 After the recent FA’s decision regarding them, how did the fasting players become ambassadors for Islam in Europe?

During Ramadan this year, the phenomenon of some Muslim players breaking the fast spread during the Premier League football matches, which attracted the interest of observers of global sports, and opened for many who noticed this situation a wide scope for reflection and questioning, and then search for the reason.

Algerian international player Said Bin Rahma was the last of the champions of the new phenomenon, when the referee of the Burnley and West Ham match stopped the confrontation that took place last Monday, in its 35th minute, in order to allow the Algerian star to break his fast, or rather "break his fast" at the sunset call to prayer.

Bin Rahma breaks his fast during matches
The television footage showed Bin Rahma taking, in less than 30 seconds, a date tablet and a few doses of water and juice, while he refused to take a banana given to him by a member of the medical staff for his West Ham team, and he had postponed eating it until between the two halves of the match in the changing room. .

The match ended with a victory for West Ham (2-1), as Ben Rahma gave the second goal pass in the 29th minute of the match, and the son of the city of "Ain Temouchent" played one of his best matches since the start of the current football season, which confirms that fasting does not negatively affect The performance of the athlete, even if he is active in a high level competition such as the English Premier League.

A shot stopping the match until Ben Rahma breaks his fast
What is important, regardless of the distinguished level that Bin Rahma appeared on on a Ramadan day, what attracted attention, as I said at the beginning of the article, was the suspension of the meeting in order to allow the player to break his fast in front of the eyes of millions of match viewers in Britain and in other countries of the world who are supporters The two clubs or a football fan.

Certainly, among these viewers there are Muslims who applauded the "flash" presented by Bin Rahma, just as they liked the kind gesture from the referee of the match and from the organizers of the "Premier League" competition for their respect for a ritual of Islam. But it is also certain that a large number of the viewers of those special moments were not Muslims, and that their knowledge of the true religion is very limited or distorted, which has prompted some of them to question what Bin Rahma has done and what other players have done in some of the current Ramadan matches.

The curiosity of some non-Muslim viewers of the shot may have pushed them to search more about Islam, and thus discover it for its truth and remove the distorted image that they carry in their memories that it is a religion of violence, terror and hate, which is promoted by haters along with a large number of fake Muslims.

Kanoute, Mane and Benzema positions
What the fasting Muslim players did, during the Premier League matches, is one of the many situations that other players have distinguished by them who unintentionally contributed to the definition of Islam and spreading it around the world.

In the following, I review some of these situations, and I prefer to start by providing another example of the players ’insistence on fasting the month of Ramadan. It came on the date of a decisive match for their Ajax Amsterdam team with English club Tottenham Hotspur for the second leg of the Champions League semi-final match.

Real Madrid star Karim Benzema - Reuters
The two players, Ziyech and Mazraoui, broke their fast at sunset in the 21st minute of the match, by eating a small bag of drinks, while he did not play for the eggs of the match.

And when the former international financial player Frederic Kanoute was active in the Spanish club Sevilla from 2005 to 2012, he forced his team management to respect him and his religious beliefs.

In addition to the incident of refusing to wear the team shirt with the logo of one of the club's major financiers, represented by a betting company, meaning gambling, and allowing him to carry a shirt without this logo, Kanoute also forced his club to remove the "cross" logo from the shirts he wears during matches.

Kanoute also banned the removal of a mosque in Seville in 2007, when he bought the land on which it was built for half a million euros, after the expiration of the period of loaning the land to the Islamic Association by the owner company.

For his part, the Senegalese international player Sadio Mane, the star of Liverpool FC, used to be in the mosques of the city of Liverpool, and he appeared in one of the videos while participating in cleaning the toilets of the "Mercy" mosque.

Mane confirmed, in one of his previous statements, that he persevered in performing the five daily prayers on time, which prompted Liverpool Club to build a prayer hall for the fans and another for the players at Anfield, out of respect for the team's Muslim fans.

As for Karim Ben Zima, the star of Real Madrid, despite the accusations that are attached to him from time to time about alleged moral scandals, which he personally denied, he often publicly shows his adherence to the Islamic religion.

In addition to performing the Umrah rituals in 2016, the player of Algerian origins donated 3 million euros in 2013 to build a mosque in his hometown in Lyon, France, and he often publishes pictures of him in his official social media accounts in an Islamic shirt within a month. Blessed Ramadan with the writing of the phrase "correct your breakfast" in Latin letters, which leads millions of his fans and followers to question and search for the meaning of these two words.

Salah is the subject of an American study on "Islamophobia"
And although a large number of players prostrate thanksgiving after scoring goals, it is the Egyptian Mohamed Salah who is most famous for this movement or this behavior, perhaps due to his large scoring of goals or for his activity in a large club such as Liverpool, England.
He was the only champion of some studies on the impact of football on "Islamophobia".

A study released by the Immigration Policy Laboratory at Stanford University, USA, in June 2019, revealed that Mohamed Salah's fame in Liverpool has significantly reduced hate crimes and “Islamophobia” in the English “Merseyside” region.

The study revealed that hate crimes have decreased by 18.9% since the Egyptian star joined Liverpool FC in June 2017.

The study said: "The fans are receiving rich information about Salah's life on and off the stadium ... Perhaps the first time viewers see what a Muslim prayer looks like when Salah scores."

Finally, as a Muslim, I salute the British religious rulers who stop matches in order to allow Muslim players to break their fast, just as I hail Great Britain, which effectively recognizes freedom of religions and beliefs, unlike many other countries that in the past few years have been issuing strict laws restricting this freedom.