First the Vegemite, now Aussie Rules. Submission and sharia go hand in hand. Dhimmis.
It’s not practical, it’s stupid, it’s political correctness gone mad.”
Aussie Rules is often considered a religion as well as a sport and now the boundary lines have controversially merged following a successful plea from a Muslim AFL player to establish prayer rooms at match venues nationwide.
Bachar Houli convinced the AFL to introduce the rooms for Muslim fans so they had a place to pray during matches – an alternative to congregating in stairwells or carparks.
The 23-year-old midfielder from Melbourne club Richmond is also the AFL’s multicultural ambassador and was pleased with a victory that has drawn widespread condemnation and ridicule from fans — and Jeff Kennett, the former Liberal Premier of Victoria and president of Hawthorn football club.
“People want to go and enjoy the footy as well as continue with their beliefs, and if it means they have to pray once a day at the footy, we’re not asking for much,” Houli said.
He argued more devout Muslims — those who pray five times a day – would come to matches if they had a place to pray.
But Kennett disagreed, telling The Australian newspaper: “To put prayer rooms into sporting venues is not part of the Australian lexicon, it’s not the way in which we’ve behaved.
“I think it’s an overreaction, I think it’s absolute rubbish. It’s not practical, it’s stupid, it’s political correctness gone mad.”
Multi-faith prayer rooms have been introduced at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, and Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.
The organisation which runs the Sydney Cricket Ground said it had no issues with installing a permanent prayer room.
“We’ve had (temporary) prayer rooms in the past, particularly for cricket, as part of our multicultural policy. It’s for when teams like Pakistan tour here. We cater for all ethnic groups and facilities,” an SCG spokesman said.
The AFL’s move was welcomed Muslim Australia vice-president Ikebal Patel.
“What’s the problem in someone enjoying a game of footy and at the same time being mindful of their religious obligations?
“It’s not only Muslims who might like to pray. It is engaging with God, and they might even be praying for Hawthorn to win.”
AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said the organisation had an obligation to make venues welcoming to people of all cultures but not all fans were as inclusive.
“What next, the Adhan over the loudspeakers instead of the final siren?” posted one fan of Houli’s Richmond.
“Or . . . half-time breaks to coincide with mid-afternoon prayer? Or designated women-only areas at the ground on the top deck completely out of sight and earshot of any men? Actually, that one’s not a bad idea.”
“This is OUR game and I’m sick of all this multicultural crap that is dividing our country,” another posted.
“The last bastion of Australian culture to be stripped away from us in the name of Islam ….
“Football should be football. It’s a religion in itself. Let it be.”