edited mid afternoon to add more news stories.
I know pointless rioting and violence when I see it. I graduated from the school famous for the Halloween riots and experienced a halloween or 2 on state street. And we Wisconsinites take our american (cof cof real) football pretty darn seriously. It isn’t uncommon for the priest or pastor to include the Packers in their prayers at Sunday services, even if in a (semi) joking manner. And we don’t take kindly to people messing with our team. Witness the loathing and hatred of the traitor, Brett Favre. Once a saint, now a Judas. I will admit that whenever I see a purple #4 jersey, my hackles are raised and I get this urge to throw paint on it. But, somehow I manage to restrain myself
But none of that compares to the loathing Egyptians and Algerians are displaying towards one another at present. I first became aware of this problem when AbuS started yelling at the computer in a mix of english and arabic this last week, and then go on long rants about the stupidity of people rioting over football. Apparently Egypt beat Algeria in soccer, and they’re a wee bit miffed. Ok, I can understand that, right, I mean we here in america riot on occasion over frivolous things.
Oh no, it’s much worse than that:
- Algeria Secures Egyptian Embassy after Egyptian businesses attacked
- Tensions mount before Algeria-Egypt WC qualifier
- Violence in Marseille over Algeria, Egypt soccer
- Egypt-Algeria: when fair play died
- High Alert for Egypt-Algeria tie
- Cairo Braces for Soccer bombshell
According to what AbuS has read in the arab language press, Egyptians are fleeing Algeria over death threats and violence. This is over football people. A game! Yes, there are underlying issues, but come on.
Of course, we could just examine the sunnah of the Prophet (saws) and read about when one sahaba beat another sahaba in a wrestling tournament, and then both guys brought their crews to brawl outside the masjid after jummah prayer…oh no wait, that didn’t happen? You mean the sunnah of our beloved Prophet (saws) is to play sports to benefit ourselves and the ummah, and not to take it too seriously? You don’t say, imagine that – the sunnah is to act rational. So why is it so hard for muslims to follow it?
A relevant verse, both for the coming hajj and the situation of the muslim ummah:
O you who believe! do not violate the signs appointed by Allah nor the sacred month, nor (interfere with) the offerings, nor the sacrificial animals with garlands, nor those going to the sacred house seeking the grace and pleasure of their Lord; and when you are free from the obligations of the pilgrimage, then hunt, and let not hatred of a people– because they hindered you from the Sacred Masjid– incite you to exceed the limits, and help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is severe in requiting (evil). (5:2)
Is it really too much to ask that muslims read, understand and follow our religion?