Muslim Brotherhood's football hopes trigger sarcasm

Eslam Omar, Friday 6 May 2011

The Muslim Brotherhood has announced its intention to form football teams to compete domestically, sparking a range of sarcastic responses in the blogosphere

Ultras MB
Ultras Ikhwan, one of facebook groups mock MB soccoer plan

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood announced during a conference in Al-Gharbiya on Wednesday that it will establish sports clubs, including football teams to take part in the domestic championship.

Immediately, Egyptian and some Arab bloggers started mocking the Brotherhood’s football plan.

“We are going to launch TV channels soon, as well as sport clubs to compete in the Egyptian League and Cup,” said Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie during the opening ceremony of Muslim Brotherhood House in Tanta city.

Bloggers respond

Comments that were posted on social networks focused on the Brotherhood's clandestine history: “Football fans are eagerly waiting Egypt’s clasico between arch-rival clubs, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Police Union,” one blogger mocked. Another comment read: “Brotherhood goalkeeper will miss next match due to security arrest."

Jokes also referred to recent announcements about the Muslim Brotherhood’s insistence that they do not seek a majority in the upcoming parliamentary elections, combining them with catchwords said by football coaches: “Because we just seek participation, not domination, a draw is enough for us at this round, so we will play without strikers,” joked a blogger. “Brotherhood request international monitoring for their matches instead of local referees,” wrote another.

Other bloggers mocked the Islamic-oriented party, merging them with Salafi and Wahabi elements, and imagining the stereotyped Islamic appearance on the pitch: “Brotherhood clubs rejected Nike and Adidas bids because they didn’t offer Jilbab,” said one user. “FIFA adopts regulation giving a yellow card to any player pulling an opponent’s beard,” Tweeted another.

Crossing the line

Many bloggers mixed the Islamist party with the teachings of Islam itself, but their comments have not received broad applause, sparking many debates about the subject. “The player must shoot the penalty kick by his right foot saying ‘in the name of God’, otherwise he will be fouled,” joked one commenter.

Conservative bloggers have called on their colleagues, politely, though some angrily, to quit mocking Islam, or at least joke only about politics without reflecting on Islam sayings, quoting some verses from the Holy Quran too. “Allah prohibited mocking anybody because they might be better than you,” said one comment.

“No doubt combining religion with politics always sparks controversy, but injecting both into sports would lead to chaos,” one blogger wrote.

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