March 26, 2008

Boxer wins praise as Muslim 'role model'

Boxer Amir Khan has been hailed as a "wonderful role model" for UK Muslims in a rebuke to a radical preacher who criticised him for wearing the Union flag.

Exiled preacher Omar Bakri Mohammad told a newspaper that the boxer was committing a sin and set a bad example to Muslims for showing allegiance to the UK flag. The comments were branded "bizarre" by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary general of MCB said: "Amir Khan is a wonderful role model.

"He's a hugely successful boxer, proud of being Muslim and British. I can see why that could upset Omar Bakri, but to hundreds of thousands of British Muslims, Amir Khan is a wonderful role model."

The Commonwealth lightweight title-holder is draped with the flag in photos on his official website and often wears shorts featuring the emblem.

Bakri said: "Amir Khan is not a good example for Muslims. He wears shorts with the Union Jack. That is a sin. He should not be wearing the flag because sovereignty is for God. His only allegiance should be to the Prophet Mohammed. The ideal situation would be to have a Muslim team not registered to any state so he can represent the Islamic community."

Mr Bunglawala said: "Bizarre. These comments are typical of Omar Bakri. He doesn't live in this country and frankly his views are of no concern to British Muslims."

Omar Bakri Mohammad lives in Lebanon after leaving London in 2005.

Khan, 21, is due to fight Martin Kristjansen for the WBO lightweight world championship in his home town of Bolton, in Lancashire, on April 5.

Yorkshire Post


Anonymous said...

It would be good if Amir could talk out against the radicals and terrorists within his community. That would send out a positive proud to be British message, and hopefully make the british public realise that all muslims are not anti British.

Anonymous said...

When he fought after the London bombs, he publically condemned the bombers, and fought in dedication of the bomb victims.

I remember seeing it on telly.