Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah has drawn the ire of Muslim fans who were disappointed about the fact that the Egypt-born footballer posed together with his family in front of a well-decorated Christmas tree, wishing a happy holiday.
Some Muslims who have been following the famed forward quickly lashed out at him over what they say was his failure to observe Quranic regulations.
“As a Muslim we should not celebrate or even congratulate other religions in their celebrates [sic] that’s all”, one fumed, with another angry reply stating:
“That’s why [Arsenal and Egypt player] Mohammed Elneny is the Egyptian king & not u”.
“It is not permissible to celebrate the holidays of the infidels”, read another comment in Arabic, whereas another brought up Russian UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is also Muslim, as an example of faith and loyalty to Islamic dogmas.
“This is why I love ufc BROTHER KHABIB the most from all the famous MUSLIM stars... He never COMPROMISES his deen Alhamdulilla”, the user posted.
Many, however, stood up in Salah’s defence, stressing the undeniable positivity of his message and arguing that the landmark Christian holiday has in recent years been greatly commercialised and now has little to do with religion and faith at all.
“I live in Dubai and Xmas trees in all the malls, Xmas songs in all the shops, Xmas markets everywhere and that’s in a Muslim country, imagine that but intensified times 100 in the UK, is he really gonna deprive his daughter of all that joy & happiness her friends are experiencing?” one wondered.
On Christmas, Salah, 28, posted two photos on his social media accounts - one with his eldest daughter Makkah and the other with his wife Maggi and their little one Kayan. Salah’s Instagram posts quickly netted over 2.3 million likes, while his Twitter message racked up some 300,000.
Liverpool and Team Egypt forward Salah, 28, has of late triggered speculation over his Premier League future after claims that he was "not happy" with his tenure at Liverpool and might weigh a move to Spain.
Reds coach Jurgen Klopp largely dismissed the claims at a recent press conference, saying the award-winning forward, widely known for his finishing, dribbling, and speed, was generally “in a good mood”.