Instaphobia: British boxing champion's mosque-prayer photo sparks online abuse

Instaphobia: British boxing champion's mosque-prayer photo sparks online abuse
Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua suffered a wave of abuse online after tweeting a picture showing him taking part in prayers in a Dubai mosque.
2 min read
19 January, 2017
The British heavyweight champion took part in afternoon prayers at a Dubai mosque [Twitter]
British boxer Anthony Joshua was subjected to an avalanche of abuse on social media after taking part in prayers at a Dubai mosque.

The heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medallist posted a picture of himself on Twitter joining afternoon prayers while on holiday in the UAE.

The torrent of hate came after Tommy Robinson, co-founder and former leader of the English Defence League - a far-right street protest movement opposed to what it believes is the spread of Islamism and Sharia in the UK - accused Joshua of "promoting a religion" that calls on its followers to "kill and rape".

In a video he said he called Joshua out on the picture because he appeared to support a religion that "promotes hate and intolerance against women, against non-Muslims, against homosexuals". 

The tweet sparked further outrage from more anti-Islam trolls who said they would instead support Joshua's rival Wladimir Klitschko.

Another Twitter user said Joshua was a "disgrace" and had "let us down".

However fans of the Watford boxer, born to Nigerian parents, took to Twitter to praise and defend Joshua, who has previously said he is not religious but considers himself to be spiritual.

Joshua, who was appointed MBE in 2013, has not responded.