A Letter to Mohamed Salah From a Muslim Girl

Dear Mohamed Salah,

I want to go straight to the point and say, thank you.

Thank you for fearlessly practicing what you believe in.

Thank you for being great in the career that you’re passionate about.

Thank you for becoming a positive representation for Muslims around the world.

Thank you for showing Islam the way that the media normally doesn’t.

Thank you for becoming a positive role model and human aspiration for Muslim children to look up to.

Thank you for reminding Muslim men that Islam is all about feminism, and what Allah says is sometimes different from what we’ve been told in our cultures. tweet

Thank you for using your fame in the best way you possibly could have. Thank you for being an overall amazing and hardworking human being.

I remember the first time I heard your name on TV. It was one of Liverpool FC’s games and you were showing off your eye-catching skills. I turned to my dad and asked, “Who’s this guy?! He’s so good! Where is he from?!”

And when I learned that you’re the new Muslim player for the Reds, I was all excited, and outta this world. I grew up in a family of football-lovers, and we would watch the top league games which usually were from England or Spain. And never in my life had I heard of a Muslim player who was as good as Ronaldo or Messi. I felt simply thrilled to see someone finally represent a community I recognized myself in.

Fans from Liverpool, a notoriously homogenous city, are chanting, “If he scores another few then I’ll be Muslim too!” as well as, “Mo Salah, the gift from Allah!” tweet

Mo Salah, every time I saw you pray by the field and get on your knees to thank Allah, my heart was filled with joy thinking about the indescribable impact you’re making by those simple gestures. And ever since that day, I have seen the remarkable changes happening with my own two eyes.

Fans from Liverpool, a notoriously homogenous city, are chanting, “If he scores another few then I’ll be Muslim too!” as well as, “Mo Salah, the gift from Allah!” I’ve seen the rise of people’s understanding and acceptance of a representation of Islam that the media often overlooks, and recently, Stanford researchers confirmed what we’ve all been seeing: the decline of anti-Muslim bigotry in England.

Mo, what you have done is more than just scoring goals and championships for the Reds. You’ve made that little boy at a majority-white school proud of practicing the same religion as you. You’ve made that little girl take pride in her difference, in her being from the same country or region as the incredible Mo Salah.

Your presence, and your excellence is taking control of our community’s often maligned image in the media, and changing millions of minds and preconceived opinions. It’s a step taken that lets other Muslims have the freedom to not have to prove themselves as decent human beings. It’s a revolution. It’s history.

So, Mohamed Salah, thank you! Keep being amazing. Keep being you. And may Allah grant you the best. 

Image courtesy of @mosalah
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A Letter to Mohamed Salah From a Muslim Girl
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