‘Hero Worshiping Non-Islamic Players,’ Says Kerala Cleric Amid World Cup Frenzy; Minister of Education responds: 7 things you should know

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Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty responded to the Samastha cleric’s comments.

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is known for its love of football. The people of the southern state “celebrate” international soccer tournaments with great panache and frenzy. The World Cup in Qatar was well received by the Keralites, who installed giant figures and flexible boards of their favorite players and painted houses and vehicles in tune with the colors of the teams they support. Incidents of fan violence were also reported at some locations throughout the days.
Meanwhile, a cleric from the influential Kerala Muslim body ‘Samastha’ has kicked the hornet’s nest with his objection to holding the event. He criticized the youths for their hero worship of foreign soccer stars and called on them to refrain from such “un-Islamic” acts.

His comments were not well received by the citizens of the state, who reacted strongly. The state education minister was among the critics of his comment. Here’s everything you need to know about the controversy:

1. Nasar Faizi Koodathayi, general secretary of the Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Qutba committee, said that hero worship of footballers cannot be appreciated. Referring to Kerala’s pared down culture, Nazar Faizy said, “Islam has not allowed people to spend money across all boundaries. We are not against people supporting their favorite teams or players, but excessive idolatry and Crazy following is not a proper way.” We also do not support people spending thousands of rupees and building cutouts in small villages like we see now,” he said.

two. Speaking about host country Qatar, he said: “If you look at Qatar, which hosts the World Cup, they have banned alcohol and sex during the World Cup season. That is their prerogative, as they have according to Islamic rules.

3. “Flying the flags of countries like Portugal, which is the first colonial invader in India, or those of countries that are hostile to Islam, should also be discouraged,” he said. According to the religious scholar, Islam prohibits the uncontrolled practice of sports and games.

Four. The Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Qutba committee is the body of khateebs who deliver Friday sermons in the mosques. The organization has ordered clerics to ask believers not to indulge in the extravagance and riotous celebrations associated with the World Cup. The New Indian Express (TNIE) said in a report.

5. After Nazar Faizy’s comments became a major controversy, Kerala’s education minister V Sivankutty reacted strongly to the cleric’s remarks. The CPI(M) leader said that following a sport or not should be a personal choice for each individual.

6. “These are all personal choices. Each person can decide for himself whether to play the game or not. No one has the right to interfere in it. A person can decide whether to listen to music or not, go for a walk in the morning or not, read a book or not… There is a Constitution in this country. They (Samastha) can do awareness classes if they want. Accept it or not is the call of the people,” Sivankutty told the media.

7. Nazar Faizy’s statement was also rejected by Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader MK Muneer. An ally of Congress in Kerala, the IUML’s strongholds are spread across the football-crazed districts of Malappuram and Kozhikode state. “Everybody watches football with passion nowadays and supports different teams,” said MK Muneer.
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