Tuesday, January 22, 2013

22-Jan-13: Sports corner: The ordinariness of foaming-at-the-mouth vitriol

Abdel Naby [Image Source]   
Since having a sports column on this blog is something new, we'll start with a word of introduction.

We don't create reality here. We reflect on it and try to understand what it means for us. There is an enormous degree of stupidity out there in relation to terrorism, including an utter failure on the part of important and influential people and institutions to comprehend the hatred that spawns murderous terrorism and how to address it when it enters your life.

An Egyptian sports figure - not one of the important and influential people we just mentioned but then that's the point - earned a moment of global fame this week when an interview program on one of his country's television stations gave him a platform for some all-too-familiar viewpoints that pass for 'normal' in his society. MEMRI translated extracts of it to English: click to view.

The man's name is Nasser Sadeq Abdel Naby, and in his particular sphere of influence - internationaL soccer/football - he is a known figure. Google has the evidence.

Pontificating to his audience on the Al-Nas television channel, the football-referee authority says:
  • (About Israel’s hosting of the European Under-21 Championship this summer): “We hope to shake UEFA and FIFA so that Israel can never again organize a World Cup or any other championship. UEFA and FIFA will think a thousand times before granting them the privilege of hosting championships. They will remember that the whole world turned against them.”
  • “This Zionist Entity is planted, like a cancerous tumor, in the body of the Arab and Islamic nation. We must tear it out and, until we do, we must fight it as much as we can”
  • (About the very notion of Al-Jazeera possibly broadcasting the games from Israel): “We must prevent this. If this famous channel does not refrain from doing so… if this is true, we will write to Al-Jazeera. If they persist, we will call to boycott it.”
Times of Israel's report on this minor moment in the annals of Arab sportsmanship notes that there are no Arab or Moslem countries involved in the European Under-21 Championship which Israel is going to host. The eight participating nations are England, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia and Spain.

A final note about the TV channel: Al-Nas means "The People Channel". Established with Saudi Arabian capital, it began operations in Cairo in 2006 with a format that featured "Arabic pop songs and dream interpretation shows". It soon shifted focus to "religious knowledge" and "well-known Islamic preachers". So not surprisingly, female presenters are banned from the channel. Also fair-mindedness and good sense. But Abdel Naby and his boorish views fit right in.

How out of touch is this man and his odious views? Stay tuned for some more depressing samples of where today's Egypt stands.

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