Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, author of Lajja, has been severely criticised by England’s cricket team for her tweet — which she later deleted — that said: “If Moeen Ali (all rounder) were not stuck with cricket, he would have gone to Syria to join ISIS.”
The author, after deleting her remark, retweeted to say she was being “sarcastic.”
England fast bowler Jofra Archer, batsman Sam Billings and Saqib Mahmood were among those who hit out at her original post. Archer wrote: “Are you okay ? I don’t think you’re okay.” He also condemned the second tweet, saying: “Sarcastic? No one is laughing, not even yourself, the least you can do is delete the tweet,” Archer wrote.
“Haters know very well that my Moeen Ali tweet was sarcastic. But they made that an issue to humiliate me because I try to secularize Muslim society & I oppose Islamic fanaticism. One of the greatest tragedies of humankind is pro-women leftists support anti-women Islamists,” wrote Taslima Nasreen.
Moeen’s father Munir Ali wrote in The Indian Express: “I am hurt and shocked to read Taslima Nasreen’s vile remark against my son Moeen. In her “clarifying” tweet, where she described her original remark as sarcasm, she also says she stands against fundamentalism. If she looks into a mirror, she will know what she tweeted is what is fundamentalist — a vicious stereotype against a Muslim person, a clearly Islamophobic statement. Someone who doesn’t have self-respect and respect for others can only stoop to this level”.
“Please everyone report Taslima’s account! Disgusting,” Billings tweeted. “This is the problem with this app. People being able to say stuff like this. Disgusting. Things need to change, please report this account!” came another tweet from Ben Duckett. And Saqib Mahmood expressed his hurt by tweeting: “Can’t believe this. Disgusting tweet (by Nasreen). Disgusting individual.”
Moeen Ali is in India and is preparing for IPL 2021 where he will be representing Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore. The all-rounder has represented his national team in all three formats. He has played 61 Tests, 109 ODIs and 34 T20Is for the England team.