2018 World Cup: Mo Salah’s popularity is changing perceptions of Muslims in the UK | Vox

Ismailimail readers know community’s enthusiasm for sports, particularly football (soccer). As the world cup is underway, we share this finely written article on the achievements of a “Sizzlingly quick” Muslim player who could potentially help change the perceptions.

The first thing you notice about Salah as he moves around the soccer field is his speed. He’s quick. Very quick. Sizzlingly quick.

2018 World Cup: Mo Salah’s popularity is changing perceptions of Muslims in the UK | VoxBy Andi Thomas for Vox: Mohamed “Mo” Salah, who plays soccer for Liverpool, England, as well as for Egypt, has just come off a season in which he established himself as one of the most exciting players in the world. A Muslim of North African heritage, he plays, excels, and is adored in Britain, a country in which anti-Muslim sentiment is increasingly part of mainstream political and cultural discourse.

And he should be one of the stars of the upcoming 2018 World Cup later this month — if, that is, he makes it to the tournament at all. Due to a recent injury, that’s now in question.

Salah started playing organized soccer as a teenager on an Egyptian team called the Arab Contractors. He joined Egypt’s national team in 2011 at age 19 and moved to Europe the following year. His first years were promising but patchy, and to say this has been a breakout season for Salah is a massive understatement.

The 25-year-old had never scored more than 19 goals in a single season. This year, he scored 44 goals, with an eye-opening 32 in the Premier League. The only player with better stats in Europe was Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, widely considered to be one of the two best players in the world.

But his stardom doesn’t just come from what he does on the soccer pitch; it also comes from who and what he is off it. His brilliance combined with his charming personality and his faith have made him a hero in Egypt, where his face adorns Ramadan lanterns.

He is arguably the Arab world’s finest homegrown soccer player and most prominent sports star, and hundreds of millions of fans follow his every move.

Here’s what you need to know about Salah: why he’s so popular, and why some are hopeful that his enormous popularity in Britain may help combat the Islamophobic attitudes all too prevalent in the UK and beyond.

Read more at the source: Vox / Andi Thomas / Jun 15, 2018

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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