Many jihadists see soccer as an infidel invention designed to distract the faithful from fulfilling their religious obligations. Yet, others are soccer fans or former, failed or disaffected players who see the sport as an effective recruitment and bonding tool. Men like Osama Bin Laden, Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh and Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah base their advocacy of the utility of soccer on those Salafi and mainstream Islamic scholars who argue that the Prophet Mohammed advocated physical exercise to maintain a healthy body as opposed to more militant students of Islam who at best seek to re-write the rules of the game to Islamicize it, if not outright ban the sport.
Monday, March 7, 2016
Jihadis and Soccer: It's Complicated