The Muslim Council of Britain’s (MCB) has criticized Newcastle’s deal with Wonga announced last Tuesday, and we have seen all the reports that some of our players will not be able to wear the shirt with the Wonga logo on it because of religious reasons - but we wonder if this is a real problem?
Freddie Kanoute – a precedent for not wearing a logo on club shirt
The difficulty is that under Sharia law, Muslims cannot benefit from either lending money or receiving money from another person, and Muslims basically don’t believe in interest and making money from money, as people do in the Western world.
Hence the problem with Wonga, who charge exorbitant amounts of interest on their pay-day loans, to the very people who just cannot afford it.
We had seen the reports earlier this week, and saw there was a precedent with Frederic Kanoute when he was at West Ham, and thought there’s a solution if the Muslim first team starters players at Newcastle – Demba Ba, Papiss Cissé, Cheick Tioté and Hatem Ben Arfa – have a problem with wearing the Wonga logo – they don’t have to wear it.
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra is the assistant General Secretary of the MCB, and he told the Belfast Telegraph the Newcastle players shouldn’t wear the Wonga logo:
“There are aspects to this. We have the rulings of the religious law and we have the individual’s choice and decision on how they want to follow or not follow that rule.”
“The idea is to protect the vulnerable and the needy from exploitation by the rich and powerful. When they are lending and are charging large amounts of interest, it means the poor will have short-term benefit from the loan but long-term difficulty in paying it back because the rate of interest is not something they can keep up with.”
“The Islamic system is based on a non-interest-based system of transaction.”
And Mogra cited Fredric Kanoute, the former striker at West Ham, who refused to wear the logo for gambling site 888.com on his shirt, and there was an agreement reached that he didn’t have to wear the logo.
This is what Mogra said about Kanoute:
“Freddie was allowed to wear a top without the 888.com and that is a reasonable request to be made by the player.” “Assuming all four are on the pitch at the same time, if you have seven out of 11, you have sufficient coverage. It is not asking too much, I believe.”
If you do a google search on Freddie Kanoute you will see lots of pictures with him wearing the 888.com on his West Ham shirt, so he seems to have worn it for some time.
We wonder if this is a real problem, since there’s already been a precedent set, and that was worked out fairly easily – it seems that if any one of our four Muslim players doesn’t want to wear the Wonga sign on their shirt for religious reasons – they don’t have to.
What do you think?
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