Ben Bird a Nottingham Forest supporter converted to Islam because of Mo Salah. Imagine he does not even support Liverpool he supports Nottingham Forest , remember Nottingham Forest is in English Championship .”I’m a Nottingham Forest season-ticket holder, I can be myself but because I made the declaration of faith I’m a Muslim,” Bird said. “I’m still me and that’s what I took from Mohamed Salah. I’d love to meet him, just to shake his hand and say ‘Cheers’ or ‘Shukran’.
“I’m embarrassed to say this but my opinions on Islam used to be that the religion, the culture and the people were backward; that they didn’t integrate and wanted to take over,” he explains. “I always looked at Muslims like the elephant in the room. I had a hatred of Muslims.”
“I was a typical white-boy student who went to a different city, would get absolutely hammered and lived the student life. My degree was the first time I learned about Islam in an academic way.”
“Salah showed me that you can be normal and a Muslim, if that’s the right phrase. You can be yourself. He’s a great player and is respected by the football community and his politics, his religion, don’t matter – and to me that’s what football can do.”
“What would I say to the Ben of old? I’d give him a smack, to be honest, and I’d say: ‘How dare you think like that about a people that are so diverse. You need to start talking to people. You need to start asking the questions.’ We live in a multicultural, multifaith, multinational society.
“Now, I’d say to Muslim kids: ‘Don’t be afraid to go to a football match.’ I think that’s an issue we have to look at from both sides. I was afraid of being segregated. I don’t want to lose my mates because I look at them as brothers to me. Now I’ve got a fifth of the world’s population as brothers and sisters.
“The community has to branch out, play football, go to football. It’s up to us to realise that we’re in this together. And the best spokesman for that could be Mohamed Salah.”
What do you think of Mo Salah ?
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