The Liverpool Echo and Daily Mirror report on the challenge by supporters of Liverpool Football Club to a fan who posted a picture of two Muslims praying at Anfield during half time with the hashtag #disgrace.
Stephen Dodd posted the picture taken at Liverpool’s match against Blackburn Rovers on Sunday on his twitter account with the message: “Muslims praying at half time at the match yesterday #DISGRACE.”
A number of football fans responded to the tweet with messages denouncing Dodd’s anti-Muslim prejudice.
The Liverpool Echo notes a few as follows:
“Harryfre wrote: “How is that disgraceful in the slightest?”
“RollsonShabbos accused Dodd of being a “raging bigot”
“Another man asked: “Is this a joke? What did these guys do to harm anyone?”
“Marwan Elsaifi added: “Do you want to see Can and Kolo stop praying at beginning of each game too?”
“LFCChris wrote underneath Dodd’s photo: “Only thing wrong here is that you support Liverpool.”
“Paddy J Cawkwell added: “Respect to them, brother, can’t believe people think this is disgusting.””
Muslims praying on football grounds and finding themselves the subject of curiosity was evident in a video posted online a couple of years showing Muslim fans at West Ham praying during a break in the match. Then, as now, some fans responded with hostile comments with one person posting a message on Facebook saying, “I’m no racist but seeing bout 30 Muslims get their prayer mats out at half time in front of a loada west ham fans at the game in the concourse has to be one of the dumbest things they can do if they don’t wana be targeted or stereotyped in society. # Not doing yourself any favours.”
While the incident shows that Show Racism the Red Card’s work on tackling racism and Islamophobia in football still has some way to go it is great to see football fans stand up to bigotry and reject intolerance by celebrating diversity among football players and club supporters.