LONDON: England cricketers have rallied around teammate Moeen Ali after controversial author Taslima Nasreen targeted him with an offensive tweet.
The post by the Bangladesh-born author said: “If Moeen Ali were not stuck with cricket, he would have gone to Syria to join ISIS”.
Moeen is highly popular and has for years represented English cricket’s inclusivity and also the growing numbers of players with Asian roots in the UK. His teammates including Jofra Archer to Ben Duckett have stood by Moeen after the statement.
The 33-year-old all-rounder will turn up for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) starting on Friday. It wasn’t clear why Nasreen posted the provocative tweet. Over the weekend, Moeen made headlines for reportedly asking CSK management to remove a sponsor’s logo of an alcohol company from his team jersey. However, CSK officials have denied that any such permission has been sought by him.
The author gave an explanation to her tweet posting: “Haters know very well that my Moeen Ali tweet was sarcastic. But they made that an issue to humiliate me because I try to secularize Muslim society & I oppose Islamic fanaticism. One of the greatest tragedies of humankind is pro-women leftists support anti-women Islamists.”
Nasreen suffered a number of attacks for her radical opinions on religion. In 1994, she left Bangladesh, the country of her birth, and lived in exile. Her Bangladeshi passport was revoked.
Sarcastic ? No one is laughing , not even yourself , the least you can do is delete the tweet https://t.co/Dl7lWdvSd4
— Jofra Archer (@JofraArcher) April 6, 2021
Following the post on Moeen, she found herself at the receiving end of a serious social media backlash. Moeen’s England teammates slammed Taslima for the hateful tweet. “Are you okay? I don’t think you’re okay,” posted Archer followed by, “Sarcastic? No one is laughing, not even yourself, the least you can do is delete the tweet”.
“Can’t believe this. Disgusting tweet. Disgusting individual”, wrote Lancashire and England fast bowler Saqib Mahmood.
“This is the problem with this app. People being able to say stuff like this. Disgusting. Things need to change, please report this account!” England batsman Ben Duckett tweeted.
Sarcastic? You have a sick sense of humour https://t.co/u4KnIB1I7w
— Saqib Mahmood (@SaqMahmood25) April 6, 2021
This is the problem with this app. People being able to say stuff like this. Disgusting. Things need to change, please report this account! https://t.co/uveSFqbna0
— Ben Duckett (@BenDuckett1) April 6, 2021
Moeen, born in Birmingham in 1987, is a practicing Muslim. In 2014, during a Test match against India in Southampton, he wore wristbands carrying the slogans “Free Palestine” and “Save Gaza” which infuriated a lot of people and he also received a death threat.
The England and Wales Cricket Board insisted that the messages were humanitarian and apolitical, but the International Cricket Council (ICC) had issued a warning.