Almost a day has passed since the Egyptian football star Mohamed Salah shared his followers on the communication sites, pictures of him in front of the Christmas tree, but the debate about it is still going on.
The international player appeared with his young family, which hovered around the Christmas tree surrounded by a group of gifts. The picture garnered more than 2 million likes and more than 80,000 comments.
Although this is not the first time that Salah has published his family’s picture in front of the Christmas tree, Arab comments on the photos did not differ from the previous year. Their debate was dominated by controversial rhetoric.
Some of the tweeters described the player’s behavior as provocative and rogue, and some of them re-posted the picture on his page and considered it a positive gesture that supports the values of tolerance and integration.
The first team of commentators expressed “shock and disappointment, at seeing their favorite player and his family participate in non-Muslim holidays.”
Even the tweeters bemoaned what they considered “a change in the character of the player”, which was linked in the imagination of some of them to a specific image and specifications.
Many praised Salah for his “modesty, his shyness, and for his wife’s commitment to the hijab.” These are qualities that some see as necessary to confirm Salah’s adherence to his religion, customs and traditions.
Therefore, they do not accept any behavior or behavior that contradicts the image that they have painted in their minds of it.
Another group of singers reached a comparison between Salah and other players, such as the Senegalese player (Sadio Mane), or the Algerian (Riad Mahrez).
They removed Salah from the title of pride of the Arabs, and started looking for another player, hoping that they would find something similar to them, or something that corresponds to the typical image they imagine of a Muslim player abroad.
On the other hand, another team of commentators defended Salah and denounced his criticism.
Tweeters fear that these comments will form a negative idea about Islam among Salah’s foreign followers.
Tweeters also accused what they described as guardians of morals of “practicing intellectual terror on the player,” and called for stopping prejudice against others.
In the context, one of them commented: “Why all this bullying and attacking the player, and accusing him of renouncing his religion! Salah presented a wonderful picture of brotherhood, as the Islamic religion recommended to us. Let him live his life free from fanaticism, what he did is very natural, in a country that respects the beliefs of the other.” .
While another wrote: “The tree is beautiful, but we should not be dragged behind these customs, because they do not belong to Muslims. We must protect our children, and inculcate in them our customs and traditions.”
On the other hand, a team of three tweeters sees the conversation about Salah and the Christmas tree as an empty debate, which reflects the state of individuals in societies that are always looking for symbols and role models, without seeking to free themselves from the collective view of things.