Friday, July 4, 2014



Tariq Ramadan · @TariqRamadan

To some journalists who did not so much like collective prostrations by the Algerian soccer players, I said that we should let people express their beliefs as they want, like with those players making the sign of the cross when entering on the pitch. The Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic, with his brilliant frankness, was even clearer by threatening to leave a press conference if he would be asked again about revealing if his players were fasting or not, for it was a personal decision, a decision of consciousness and body . Amazing ... when the practice is visible, it is always too visible and when it is invisible, it is too invisible and suspect.

Then there was this last collective decision of the Algerian team deciding to give their match bonus to the people of Gaza who live in open-air prison. "They need it more than us," say the players. This team is out of the Mundial 2014, with honors, and they go home with dignity and class. Respect. That is what we would like the media to cover. For two reasons: first, to highlight the human dignity of the team and then to remind the world of the undignified and inhuman treatment to which is subjected the civilian population of Gaza.

Instead of interest with an unhealthy curiosity about the religious practices of individuals, it would be more accurate to emphasize the humanistic consciousness of the Algerian players who do not forget, while they "play" football, that in Palestine innocent people are being killed without playing.

You have my respect and my prayers, in clear and visible way. You gave us great lessons, a sports one as well as a spirituals and morals one.


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