From The Star 19 July 2010:
Football jerseys Muslims should not wear
KOSMO! carried a report about Muslims who wittingly or unwittingly wear football jerseys which display images of crosses, liquor brands and devils.
Johor Religious Council adviser Datuk Nooh Gadot said wearing such jerseys were forbidden in Islam.
“It is as if Muslims are worshipping and exalting the symbols of other religions. Islam does not compromise on this matter, regardless of whether it is worn for fun, fashion or sport,” he said.
Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria agreed with Nooh and said although Islam did not forbid its followers from participating in sports or dressing up, it has to be done within the boundaries of Islamic law.
Among the football teams whose crests carry images of the cross are Brazil, Portugal, Serbia, Barcelona and Norway, while Manchester United carries the “Red Devil” slogan on its team crest.
I suppose this means that Muslim citizens of the UK, Denmark, Finland, Jamaica, Switzerland and so on can no longer bear their country’s flag.
Also based on the same principle, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and so on should no longer wear clothing with the Malaysian flag on it, as the flag includes the Islamic crescent. The same goes for Singaporeans. Ironically, despite living in the most populous Muslim nation in the world, non-Muslim Indonesians have no problem here as their flag is religiously neutral.
All non-Muslims should also immediately quit the Red Crescent Society, as serving in it involves wearing a symbol of a religion other than their own. Quit worshiping that Bulan Sabit Merah first aid kit, blasphemers!
Are you a Muslim? Do you live on planet Earth or in this universe? Quickly, Johor Religious Council adviser Datuk Nooh Gadot insists that you emigrate to another dimension in order to avoid being associated with the constellation known as the Southern Cross!
Muslim gamers must from now on avoid all health packs as these are usually represented by a cross symbol. The preferred tactic for making it through Left 4 Dead is now to just run madly through the level and hope computer-controlled hunting rifle equipped Zoey gets eaten first.
Players of RPGs cannot add to their stats as this involves a ‘+’ symbol that looks like a cross, and by all means avoid those Paladins, Clerics, Priests, Shamans, Necromancers, and any equipment with a cross or Yin-Yang symbol on it! To cast Holy Bolt is to exalt a flaming magical cross like some skeleton-blasting infidel!
(Wait, can you even use the word ‘exalt’? The second letter is a little cross! And you’d better not use unbeliever fonts like Comic Sans because the t is replaced by yet another Christian symbol! DON’T GO OPEN MICROSOFT WORD TO TEST IT, IT IS NOT COMPROMISE-ABLE!)
And most egregriously, those who play Team Fortress 2 must never be Medics or be healed by one, as this involves a guy with a cross on his uniform shooting out little crosses at the wounded teammate in order to fill his little cross-shaped healthbar – the worst combo worshipping-and-exalting-the-symbols-of-other-religions offence possible! Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria will personally dominate you with only taunt kills if you do not comply!
So remember kids…….. WORSHIPPING AND EXALTING THE SYMBOLS OF OTHER RELIGIONS IS BAD, AND WRONG……… EVEN BADWRONG…….. OR BADONG!
UPDATE 24 July 2010: Make what you will of this follow up proclamation by the same Perak mufti (note the unIslamic crosses on the one hand, and unIslamic skulls and devils on the other):
No ‘religious ban’ on MU jerseys, says Perak mufti
By JOSHUA FOONG and ROSHIDI ABU SAMAH
KUALA LUMPUR: There is no “religious ban” on Manchester United jerseys despite statements by several prominent Islamic scholars urging Muslims not to don the Premier League club’s shirts because the emblem features a devil.
Perak mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria said jerseys with devils, crosses or skulls promoted the wrong values for Muslims but that did not mean they should be banned.
“A fatwa on the matter is not necessary as it is clearly wrong for Muslims to wear shirts with devils and other unIslamic symbols because it is against the teachings of Islam,” he said yesterday.
Apart from Manchester United, which is also known as The Red Devils, other football teams whose crests carry images deemed unIslamic like the cross are Brazil, Portugal, Serbia, Barcelona and Norway.
“In Islam, Satan is our enemy … but I believe Satan is also an enemy of the non-Muslims.
“We advise people not to wear them,” said Harussani.
He added that Muslims had no reason to wear and glorify symbols that promoted wrong values.
Harussani said other ulama and mufti shared his opinion but they did not plan to pass any edict to ban the attire either.
Many Muslim football fans, he said, were actually unaware of the images on the emblems.
His view was shared by Johor Religious Council adviser Datuk Nooh Gadot, who had issued similar advice to Muslims on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, several Malaysian football fans have shown the “red card” to the advice by the ulama.
They voiced disapproval over social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
“What am I going to do with all my Manchester United jerseys? And my sons’ jerseys?” said a Twitter user.
Some even went to the extent of accusing the ulama of supporting Liverpool, Manchester United’s archrival.
Manchester United Malaysia Fan Club, which boasts 7,000 members, when contacted, declined to comment.
Checks at various sports retail outlets in shopping malls revealed that the famous red jerseys of the club were still on sale.
Sales personnel on duty said the new version of the club’s attire was selling like hot cakes as it had arrived just a few days ago after its global launch on July 15.
UPDATE 25 JULY 2010: Another scramble to damage-control:
JOHOR BARU: Muslims should know what to wear and what not to, Johor Mufti Datuk Tahrir Shamsuddin said.
He said a Muslim should not put on shirts or jerseys that had images of satan, alcohol and crests of other religions.
He said there was no need for a fatwa on the issue as “Muslims should know their boundaries”.
Tahrir was commenting on the controversy involving the Manchester United jersey, with several prominent Islamic scholars urging Muslims not to don the Premier League club’s jersey because the emblem features a devil.
“If Muslims want to show their support for their favourite teams, they should find a better way instead of wearing such a jersey,” he said.
Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria had said on Friday that jerseys with devils, crosses or skulls promoted the wrong values for Muslims but that did not mean they should be banned.
Apart from United, who are also known as The Red Devils, other football teams whose crests carry images deemed unIslamic like the cross are Brazil, Portugal, Serbia, Barcelona and Norway.
A Malay daily recently quoted Johor Religious Council adviser Datuk Nooh Gadot as saying that wearing such jerseys were forbidden in Islam.
Someone writes in about the silliness of fear-of-plus-symbols as I have, but there’s one caveat I’d like to point out: The cross symbol found on the jerseys of various teams actually does stem from Christianity, as it comes from the flags of those nations where the cross symbol is an intentional religious reference. Thus it is stretching it a bit to claim that the cross symbol on football jerseys is as symbolically meaningful as a road intersection.
IT is rather amusing to read the statement by the former mufti of Johor Datuk Nooh Gadut cautioning Muslims against wearing the Manchester United jersey because of the devil emblem.
This is further extended to include all other jerseys of international football teams that incorporate the image of the cross in their team emblems. According to him, such practices are tantamount to worshipping symbols of other religions and the devil.
Such interpretations reflect a pedestrian perception of symbolism and designs.
One should be able to lift one’s critical perception from the morass of iniquity of misconstruing such images as having ulterior motives.
Perhaps there is a need to reflect on the nature and principles of semiology and design.
For example, a cross is a basic design tool; two lines crossing at right angles. This graphic design is ubiquitous in every facet of our lives, like road intersections, grid lines, and all other natural and man-made manifestations using two lines crossing at right angles.
Granted that the cross is the religious symbol of Christianity, but the basic design pattern is not the preserve of this religious belief, and should not be construed to only have such religious connotation on every occasion.
The image of the devil is another point of contention. Is that truly the devil?
In Islam, we do not have any iconographic representations of Allah or the devil and we are forbidden to give pictorial representation of our prophets.
I believe those who bought the jerseys were not even aware of the symbolic interpretations of the graphic design; only that they represent the identity of their favourite football clubs.
Their main objective is to identify and support world-class football clubs, which is a healthy preoccupation.
It does not indicate any religious associations. Therefore, those in influential positions need to exercise caution when making such interpretations so as not to confuse people.
MOHAMED GHOUSE, NASURUDDIN,
But then again…
Crosses on flag not a Christian symbol
Thursday July 29, 2010
In the article “No religious ban on MU jerseys“ (The Star, July 24), you printed the Swiss flag as one of the controversial crests.
I have to, of course, leave it up to the relevant Muslim authorities to determine whether wearing the Manchester United T-shirt is tantamount to devil worshipping.
However, in one respect I can alleviate any doubt over this issue and it is regarding the Swiss flag.
It is historically well documented that the Swiss flag has nothing to do whatsoever with a Christian symbol. Its origin dates back to our war of independence against the House of Habsburg.
In their struggle for freedom which started in 1291, the simple peasants had no uniforms and to distinguish themselves from the enemy foot soldiers, the Swiss hastily sewed two white, crossed ribbons on their clothes to make the distinction easier between friend and foe.
They followed this practice in a series of wars of liberation and adopted later the two white crossed bars as the national flag of the Swiss Confederation, which incidentally will celebrate its 719th anniversary next Sunday, Aug 1.
DR URS STEMMLER,
Embassy of Switzerland,
Well, I suppose he’d be the expert on it… Although Wikipedia mentions that the oldest depiction actually includes Jesus on the cross!
Hahaha! Someone recommended my post to Malaysia Today:
I don’t have any control over the comments there, mind you!
Also trackbacked by Dayak Baru.
PS. See also previous examples of similar mentality, only worse – applying it to members of those countries’ teams!
- Turkish Lawyer Wants UEFA to Cancel Inter Milan Win Because Uniforms Have Red Cross
- Banning people from displaying St George’s Cross in case it ‘racistly’ offends those who don’t support England in the World Cup
- St. George, Patron Saint of England, no longer allowed to be celebrated because he is ‘offensive’ to Muslims