Mohamed Salah was named one of Time’s top 100 most influential people in the World this week. The”Egyptian King” was nominated by British comedian John Oliver, a long time Liverpool fan, and commendably chose to express his thoughts about the mistreatment of women in the Muslim world.
“We need to change the way we treat the woman in our culture. I support the woman more than I did before, because I feel like she deserves more than what they give her now, at the moment. That has to be; it’s not optional.”
See also: The Common Goal Initiative
Salah mentioned how he has changed his mind about how women should be treated. In his culture, it is common for women not to have the same rights as men. Growing up in this type of discriminatory environment, it’s easy for men to knowingly or unknowingly perpetuate this injustice in the name of culture or tradition. Salah, however, realized this mistreatment of women is not acceptable and called for immediate change.
Coincidentally, this week also brought us a very sad story about a muslim woman who was sexually assaulted and when deciding to fight for justice for herself, was pressured by society to withdraw a police complaint against her alleged aggressor, a headmaster in an Islamic school. When she refused, she was set on fire. Before dying in her brother’s presence, she had the latter record a message, saying she would fight for justice till death.
This woman’s name is Nusrat Jahan Rafi and she passed away on the 10th April, four days after being doused in Kerosene and set alight. Remember her name.
This is but one example of how women all over the world are mistreated and discriminated against on a day to day basis.
The fact that Salah chose to use his Time magazine interview to speak out about gender equality and the injustice woman suffer is praiseworthy. Talking about women’s rights in a patriarchal culture can quickly bring the wrath of the proponents of that said system.
I remember seeing a comment on social media when the Time magazine interview came out saying “You just lost half a billion followers”. This was clearly an attempt at humor but nevertheless partially truthful.
Many influential people choose to only speak about issues which will not invite too much backlash to preserve their following and maintain popularity across all demographics. But not Mo Salah. He knows the influence he has in Egypt and the Muslim world and decided to use it to make the World a better place for women.
Famous footballers are idols to many around the World and the more they speak against injustice, the more good it will do the World. This game has the power to affect much change in the World and I sincerely hope more and more influential people will attempt to effect positive change, as Mohamed Salah did.
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