Islamophobia decreases sharply in Liverpool thanks to Mo Salah

Islamophobia decreases sharply in Liverpool thanks to Mo Salah
A new study has found that Islamophobic hate crimes in the Liverpool area have decreased by 18.9 percent since star Egyptian striker Mohammed Salah joined Liverpool FC.
2 min read
03 June, 2019
Mohamed Salah thanks God after scoring a goal in a Liverpool-Stoke City match [Getty]
A new study has found that hate crimes and Islamophobia have decreased significantly in the Liverpool area since Egyptian football star Mohammed Salah was signed by Liverpool FC.

The study, by the Immigration Policy Lab, a thinktank which informs governments about migration issues, found that hate crimes had decreased by 18.9 percent in the county of Merseyside – of which Liverpool is the main city.

The study also looked at 15 million tweets by Liverpool fans and found that the level of Islamophobic tweets by them had decreased by half, from 7.2 percent to 3.4 percent.

The study concluded that these results had been influenced by an increasing familiarity with Islam and Muslims as a result of Mohammed Salah's fame, calling this "positive exposure" and contrasting it with the negative image of Islam prevalent in British society at large.

Mohammed Salah is not only a record-breaking goal-scorer, with 32 goals to his name in 38 games of the 2017-18 English Premier League, he is also one of the most visibly Muslim players in England, performing the Islamic sujood prostration to thank God whenever he scores a goal, an action which has been included in the FIFA 2019 video game.

Liverpool FC's manager, Jurgen Klopp said that Salah lives in a world "where people think '[Muslims] are all like this' or 'they are all like that'… it's nice to have somebody around full of joy, full of love  and to do what he is doing around his religion". Salah's fame has been as much to do with his winning personality as his footballing skills.

Liverpool fans have been filmed singing pro-Islam chants ever since Mohammed Salah was signed. One of them went:

Mohammed Salah,

A gift from Allah..

He's always scoring,

It’s almost boring,

So please don’t take

Mohammed Away. 

A video of fans singing

If he's good enough for you

He's good enough for me

If he scores another few

Then I'll be Muslim too

Sitting in a mosque…

That's where I wanna be 

also went viral last year. 

On the other hand, fans of rival clubs have expressed hatred of Salah in Islamophobic terms on Twitter, with one Southampton fan saying he'd like to force feed Salah bacon and another doctoring a photo to show him as a suicide bomber.

On Saturday Mohammed Salah was celebrating with his family after Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions' League

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