'Idolising football stars is un-Islamic': Kerala Sunni body warns against football craze
The worship of football heroes is “un-Islamic” and against the doctrine of monotheism (belief in one God), said an organisation of Sunni clerics on Friday (November 25), warning the faithful against hero worship. The influential organisation has asked believers not to idolise football stars and get caught up in football madness calling this behaviour as “anti-Islamic acts”.
As Kerala and the rest of the country are caught up in the FIFA World Cup frenzy, a Muslim outfit, Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Khatib committee, made up of clerics who deliver sermons during Friday prayers at mosques, asked their members to caution the faithful not to go crazy over the game and spend lots of money in erecting huge cut outs of players.
The preachers will now promote these messages in their Friday sermons in mosques across the state.
The committee also urged the faithful to stop adoring teams like Portugal, a country which colonised India and exploited its rich resources. The European country has a history of invasion and is one of the first invaders in India, said the committee, according to news reports.
In Kerala, where World Cup football fever runs high, with the locals backing the Brazil team in a big way, giant flex boards of football stars like Neymar (Brazil), Cristiana Ronaldo (Portugal) and Lionel Messi (Argentina) have been erected in different corners of the state.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the committee general secretary Nasar Faizi Koodathai said that they were not against football, but the World Cup should be viewed with a “sportsman spirit”. According to Koodathai, it is not a healthy trend when football love reaches the heights of madness. He also criticised people embracing the flags of alien countries out of love for the football teams of those countries. This act goes beyond the love for one’s nation and the national flag, he stressed.
Moreover, a Muslim has to pray five times a day. However, the World Cup frenzy has affected the prayers of the faithful, he said, asking people to practice restraint in this regard.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) leader and education minister V Sivankutty said that Samastha has every right to make such a call. However, he added that it is up to the individual to worship stars or not. According to Sivankutty, who was speaking at the centenary celebrations of a Kozhikode school, be it listening to music or watching football or even going for a walk in the morning, it is an individual’s personal liberty granted by the Constitution.
“It is not up to a religious organisation to make up their mind for them,” he pointed out.