Star footballer, Mesut Ozil has just stepped down from the German National Football team after citing reasons of disrespect and racism in a lengthy three-page social media post.
His statement follows Germany’s early exit out of the World Cup this year and the subsequent media backlash Ozil faced.
German media had earlier run a campaign against Ozil for posing for a photo with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The photo led to many media commentators and Football higher-ups criticising his actions and even questioning his loyalty to the German National team. He was even heavily blamed for the poor performance of the German team in the World Cup by the German Football Federation (DFB) President Richard Grindel, who not only condemned his actions but also questioned his loyalty to the club.
“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose. This is because despite paying taxes in Germany, donating facilities to German schools and winning the World Cup with Germany in 2014, I am still not accepted into society… Is it because it is Turkey? Is it because I’m a Muslim? I think here lays an important issue. By being referred to as German-Turkish, it is already distinguishing people who have family from more than one country. I was born and educated in Germany, so why don’t people accept that I am German?” Ozil stated.
In his statement, Ozil also highlighted the hypocrisy of the media backlash, particularly considering the fact that Honorary German Footballer Lothar Matthaus had just recently posed for a photo with Russian president Vladamir Putin, without any criticism of his loyalty.
Ozil also highlighted the racism shown by Grindel earlier in 2004 during his time in German Parliament.“To you, Reinhard Grindel, I am disappointed but not surprised by your actions. In 2004 whilst you were a German member of Parliament, you claimed that “multiculturalism is in reality a myth [and] a lifelong lie” whilst you voted against legislation for dual-nationalities and punishments for bribery, as well as saying that Islamic culture has become too ingrained in many German cities. This is unforgivable and unforgettable.”
We ask Allah to bless Mesut Ozil in his decision and rid Germany of all forms of racism and discrimination against Muslims.
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