Newcastle United’s quartet of Muslim players have been urged not to play for the club after the Magpies signed a new sponsorship deal with pay day loan company Wonga yesterday.
Newcastle have four Muslim players, who are Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa and Senegalese duo Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.
All four are deeply religious, as shown by Ba and Cisse’s goal celebrations, and the Muslim Council of Britain has urged them not to play in a Newcastle United shirt emblazoned with Wonga.
The quartet have been warned that doing so would infringe upon Sharia Law and advised to make a stand against the controversial company.
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Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, assistant secretary general of the MCB, said: “The idea is to protect the vulnerable and the needy from exploitation by the rich and powerful.”
Of Wonga, Mr Mogra stated: “When they are lending and are charging large amounts of interest, it means the poor will have short-term benefit from the loan but long-term difficulty in paying it back because the rate of interest is not something they can keep up with.”
While this is true, Wonga clearly state their interest rates before anyone takes out a loan with the company.
Mr Mogra concluded: “The Islamic system is based on a non-interest-based system of transaction,” so I guess they shouldn’t wear Virgin Money sponsored shirts either or have savings accounts that pay interested on their sizeable weekly wages?
When it comes down to it, it is the individual’s choice as to what elements of religious law they stick to and what rules they follow.
Don’t expect Newcastle’s quartet of Muslim players to be following Mr Mogra’s advice any time soon.
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