Moeen Ali’s father slams Taslima Nasreen for ISIS tweet, recalls incident of inferior treatment

Moeen Ali’s father Munir minced no words as he expressed his disappointment over author Taslima Nasreen’s tweet regarding his son, suggesting the 33-year-old would have joined the Islamic State (ISIS) had he not pursued cricket. 

Munir in a column at The Indian Express, said he was deeply hurt by Nasreen’s vile remarks and also went on to slam her for clarifying her statement as sarcasm.

“I am hurt and shocked to read Taslima Nasreen’s vile remark against my son Moeen. In her “clarifying” tweet, where she described her original remark as sarcasm, she also says she stands against fundamentalism. If she looks into a mirror, she will know what she tweeted is what is fundamentalist – a vicious stereotype against a Muslim person, a clearly Islamophobic statement. Someone who doesn’t have self-respect and respect for others can only stoop to this level,” Ali wrote. 

Meanwhile, Moeen’s father also mentioned that this was not the only time the cricketer was exposed to religious discrimination. He went on to narrate an incident, when the England spinner travelled to India for a development tour, but was not picked for a single match because of his religious beliefs.  

“It wasn’t easy, of course. Once on a developmental tour to India, a coach, who will go unnamed, told him to trim the beard. Moeen told him, “I will leave cricket today but will not leave my belief, and this is my belief. If I play, I will play with what I am. He didn’t play a single match there, I think, and when they asked him at the end of the tour about his learnings, he said, “nothing, just net practice, I could have done it in England.” Everyone else played but he wasn’t played, and he knew it was because of beard. I was worried about his immediate future, but he piled on the performances in county cricket and progressed. That’s the kind of strong character he is. He will shrug this off as well but that doesn’t mean anyone can take a pop at him like this. England cricket has changed for good over the years and everyone loves and respects Moeen.” 

Meanwhile, Moeen also recieved support from his teammates with Jofra Archer and others slamming the Bangladesh author on the same platform.  

Munir also recollected how difficult it has been for both him and Moeen to pursue cricket.

“His journey to the top hasn’t been easy. My journey in sustaining my sons’ love for the game hasn’t been easy. There have been days when I had just 10 pounds in my pocket and had to spend 9 of it on petrol so that I can take my sons around for games. With the remaining one pound, I would buy bread for the family. My brother also threw everything into the dream. It needs sacrifices from the family to prop up dreams for the little ones.” 

“I clearly remember the day he made his debut for England. Four wickets fell when my daughter said, ‘Dad, Moeen is coming out. I couldn’t watch. I didn’t even see the start. I was so nervous that my hands and legs were shaking. And I accidentally bumped my foot against a lady next to me. She said, “Are you nervous, Mr Ali? I too was”. I look up at her and she says, “I am Gary Ballance’s mom.” Those are the memories I want to retain; not the venom from Nasreen,” Munir concluded. 


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Sagar Biswas

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