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The star of Liverpool club and the Egyptian national team, Mohamed Salah, was a guest on the story program presented by Amr Adib. During the exclusive interview, Salah talked about his career and his beginnings with the Arab Contractors Club, all the way to Liverpool, before the dialogue touched on topics such as life in the West. And it is the part that sparked a wide interaction, which called the Egyptian Dar Al Iftaa to comment. So what’s the story?
During the interview, which lasted about an hour, the Egyptian star revealed many details of his life and the latest developments in the issue of renewing his contract with Liverpool, expressing his hope to stay as long as possible with the “Reds”.
These statements seemed remarkable to football fans and fans of the Egyptian star, who enthusiastically followed the interview on social media and dedicated a set of hashtags to discuss it. But the mathematical debate suddenly turned into a broad religious and cultural debate, which was overshadowed by the ethics literature.
The issue of drinking wine
The journalist, Amr Adib, had asked Mohamed Salah about his opinion when he was offered to “drink alcohol”, and the player replied with a smile: “I do not drink alcohol because it is not a big need for me to do it, myself at length I do not go to it,” adding: “People are here (in Britain) do not pressure him to the extent that he does something.”
These statements stopped the followers and provoked a great deal of confusion, prompting many well-known personalities and bodies to express their opinion.
In a series of posts, in which some read a clear allusion to Salah’s speech, the Egyptian Dar Al Iftaa said, “Not thinking about doing forbidden things is worship in itself.”
The critical tone emerged sharply in several comments accusing Salah of “playing down” the issue of drinking alcohol.
His critics argued that Salah was “trying to please the West with a neutral statement about drinking wine,” saying that he had to “be sure in his speech that alcohol is a taboo in Islam.”
On the other hand, commentators expressed their astonishment at the criticism directed at Salah, saying that it “exposed the apparent religiosity of many.”
The defenders of Salah also considered the attack on him as “backwardness and exaggeration”, and they denounced the attempts of some to “investigate the player’s conscience and question his beliefs.”
Others were also involved in comparing the Egyptian star with other players, such as the French player of Algerian origin Karim Benzema and the German player of Turkish origin Mesut Ozil.
Some commentators have come to lament about the player’s change of morals, which they have always considered “a model for the Muslim player in the West.”
Some of these commentators adopt a set of criteria that made Salah, in their view, worthy of the title of “the pride of the Arabs”.
Fakhr al-Arab: a title determined by various criteria
With the rise of his star in Europe, the praise of Salah, who has long been praised by the pioneers of Arab communication sites with his skills and gentleness of manners, especially “for his preservation of the teachings of the Islamic religion and his wife’s adherence to the wearing of the veil in the West.”
However, some decided today to withdraw that title from him and assign it to another player. The statements and positions of the player in the recent period contradict the image they painted for him in the past.
This is not the first time that a discussion has arisen about the “Fakhr al-Arab” title, as Salah has previously been harshly criticized on the pretext of “staying away or evading” from the teachings of his religion or the customs of his mother community.
Last December, Salah found himself under fire for sharing a photo of him with his family in front of a Christmas tree.
At the time, the tweeters were divided between a praiser who sees in the picture a call for fraternity, and a sighed criticizing the player.
Some also attacked him when he appeared with Brazilian model Alessandra Ambrosio on the cover of GQ International magazine. Some blamed him for that look as “a departure from the habits of an oriental man.”
Recently, many celebrated the player’s move that his wife, Maguy Sadiq, received the Golden Foot award during a ceremony held in the Principality of Monaco, located on the banks of the French Riviera.
Some considered Salah’s behavior as a sign of his “appreciation” of his wife for her role in his inspiring career, and others considered her “a tribute to the modest veiled woman.” Some took advantage of the event to promote Salah as a role model for “a Muslim man who respects women”, considering that he really deserves the title of “Arab pride”.
However, others mentioned his supportive stance for fellow player Amr Warda after an Egyptian model residing in the UAE accused him of harassment. In this sense, some refuse to take him as an example to follow in dealing with women.
Returning to the controversy surrounding Mohamed Salah’s statements related to drinking alcohol, some include the attack against him within the framework of what they call “cultural narcissism”, which paints a specific personality for others and then accuses them of hypocrisy if they go outside its orbit.
In a lengthy post on the subject, psychology professor Muhammad Taha described the narcissist as “a person who does not accept criticism and revolts if you criticize him, and his reactions are usually violent when defending his bloated ego. Narcissism is a possible disease that affects societies… and a feature that may characterize some cultures.”
Other commentators have also called for a separation between Salah’s personality and other players and not to interfere in the star’s private life or to pass judgments in his favor or against him based on their personal whims.
In this context, journalist Hossam Mustafa Ibrahim said: “Mohamed Salah did not present himself as a cleric, in order to ask him to be an Islamic preacher.. Halal and forbidden is a matter for the sheikhs… Salah proves that he is a Muslim through his public and secret charitable actions and works. Not with sermons, fabrications, exaggerations, and riding trends.”