England pacers Jofra Archer, Saqib Mahmood and Sam Billings have raised their voice and spoken in support of Moeen Ali after author Taslima Nasreen’s Islamophobic tweet.
Taslima, in a now-deleted tweet, had said that the England all-rounder would have joined the militant Islamic State (IS) group had he not been playing cricket.
“If Moeen Ali were not stuck with cricket, he would have gone to Syria to join ISIS,” Taslima had said.
Jofra Archer did not take it lightly and wrote: “Are you okay? I don’t think you’re okay.”
The Bangladeshi-Swedish author later tried to calm things down, claiming that her tweet on Moeen was “sarcastic”.
“Haters know very well that my Moeen Ali tweet was sarcastic,” said Nasreen. “But they made that an issue to humiliate me because I try to secularise Muslim society and oppose Islamic fanaticism.”
“One of the greatest tragedies of humankind is pro-women leftists support anti-women Islamists,” she added.
However, Archer did not buy her defence and urged her to delete the tweet as it was neither funny nor sarcastic.
“No one is laughing, not even yourself, the least you can do is delete the tweet,” said Archer.
Sam Billings and Saqib Mahmood were also disgusted by the tweet.
“Can’t believe this disgusting tweet. Disgusting individual,” said Saqib, while Sam asked his followers to report Taslima’s account.
Domestic English cricketer Ben Duckett also extended his support to Ali, saying: “This is the problem with this app. People being able to say stuff like this. Disgusting. Things need to change, please report this account!”
Nasreen’s tweet also sparked outrage on social media.
Meanwhile, Moeen’s father Munir Ali also spoke about the hurt it has caused and how his son has broken stereotypes while following his heart and faith.
Speaking about the tweet, Ali said: “I am hurt and shocked to read Taslima Nasreen’s vile remark against my son Moeen. In her “clarifying” tweet, where she described her original remark as sarcasm, she also says she stands against fundamentalism.”
“If she looks into a mirror, she will know what she tweeted is what is fundamentalist – a vicious stereotype against a Muslim person, a clearly Islamophobic statement. Someone who doesn’t have self-respect and respect for others can only stoop to this level,” he continued.
Munir further said: “Truth be told, I am really angry, but I know I would be playing into the hands of people like her if I let my rage get out of control. If I get to meet her someday, I will tell what I really think of her on her face.”
“For now, I would ask her to pick a dictionary and see the meaning of sarcasm. It’s not what she thinks it is. It’s not spewing vile poisonous stuff against someone you don’t even know and then retracting it by saying it was sarcasm. Of all the people to pick on for her agenda, I can’t believe she has chosen my son. Everyone in the cricketing world knows the person he is. Let me reiterate for those who don’t,” he concluded.
The matter had risen when Ali, Chennai Super King’s new recruit for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, had requested to remove the logo of a liquor brand from his jersey.