11th June shall be a historical date where for the first time ever a World Cup will be held in Africa's region that is in South Africa. There are some groups of people who claimed discussing footbal is but in vain as football has nothing to do with iman and amal. As I have written before, I agreed that football would be nonsense but that is only if we can not control the level of "taksub" or "fanatic" until missing our five daily prayers.
Here I would like to write a simple English article on a way to spread the message of freedom through the most prestigious footbal tournament on the planet. The idea has basically been shown by a local novelist, Faisal Tehrani in his inspirational novel, "Bahlut". The novel is about the struggle of an Orang Asli boy named Bahlut to free his native land from illegal logging. Bahlut understood that as an ordinary Orang Asli boy, no one would ever listen to him. Furthermore, the illegal logging was done with the assistance of the Tok Batin (Orang Asli's leader) and Yang Berhormat of that area. There made it more difficult to succeed in claiming for freedom and justice.
Bahlut was a fast runner. And thus the only way left for Bahlut to fight is by winning the SEA Games race-track competition. Eventually, he managed to win the competition and made a press-statement that he will return his gold medal to the SEA Games's committees should there be no action taken by the Malaysian government against the illegal logging in his hometown. The same action was done by Muhammad Ali (boxing legend) by throwing his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River back in 1960 in protest of the American's government policy on the black people. Fortunately, the long fight was a success when the Prime Minister himself asked Bahlut to keep his model and promised him that a serious action will be taken.
The idea of this novel is to show the power of a celebrity's voice in ensuring that the message of freedom will be heard by the world. This is the step that can be taken by an ordinary citizen, one who does not have any authority in the government but create his authority by using his own ability.
In the world of football, there is one person who had tried to spread the message of freedom to the world - Frederic Kanoute, a French-born Malian international player who plays fo Sevilla in Spain (previously played for Tottenham Hotspur in England). It occured around 2009, when Kanoute celebrated his goal for Sevilla by exposing the word "Palestine" written on his undergarment to the fans. Unfortunately, he was booked for that as the referee did not seem very happy with the message.
The daring act by Frederic Kanoute failed to attract the attention of the whole world on the Palestine issue as he was not a world known footballer and the incident only happen in a domestic league (Spanish Primera Liga). However, credits should be given to Kanoute as he had set an example for all footballers around the world to join him in spreading the message of freedom of Palestine.
Just imagine if the message can be expressed by a footballer in the World Cup. There are 32 countries around the world who participate in this highly rated event. If there are 1 million people from each country watching the World Cup, then there would be at least 32 million people who will see the message. Doesn't it sound great? Especially if the message is shown by a world class footballer such as Christiano Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard, Lionel Messi, Fernando Torres or Wayne Rooney. The diehard fans of these personalities will surely support whatever slogan brought by their personalities. The fans also would start doing research on the issue highlighted by their beloved personalities. Definitely, the most needed issue to be emphasized to the world is the issue that has been highlighted by Frederic Kanoute before, which is the freedom of Palestine. It is evident that that is the issue, looking at what have been done recently by the Israel army troops to Life Line 4 Gaza Convoy such as Mavi Marvara and Rachel Corrie.
Some people may say that this is only my wishful thinking. How on earth could a celebrity such as Steven Gerrard highlight the issue of Palestine in the World Cup? It is rather to be true but to highlight the issue in the World Cup shall be an excellent way to do it. It is a regretful that a man such as Kanoute will not play in South Africa as his country, Mali did not qualify to enter the World Cup. Saudi Arabia which has a high population of muslims that has the potential to spread the message of Palestine also failed to enter the World Cup 2010. Of course, Palestine has never entered the World Cup.
So, who will be the man to voice out the message of Palestine in the recent World Cup? Can another famous muslim footballer such as Nicholas Anelka, Frank Ribery and Samir Nasri (whom all of them playing for France) help in spreading the message? Or we need to wait for a Bahlut from Palestine to win the World Cup and threaten to throw all the gold medal into the sea if there is no any action from the world? If it is not in 2010, there will be another in 2014. During that time, the message of freedom shall never be stopped until a man comes to the World Cup and says, "Let save Palestine!"
Well brothers and sisters, let us all pray for the miracle!
Article edited by m4Die aka Chibi