Egypt Match Riot- Football & Secularism under the Spotlight

By Majed Iqbal– Clashes after a Football Match in Egypt have left 74 dead and over 1,000 people injured in what has been described as the worst incident of soccer violence in Egypt and the deadliest worldwide since 1996.

Fans rioted on the pitch and some set parts of a stadium alive. People suffered injuries from stampedes and it was believed that weapons were bought into the match.

Commentators are speculating on the whole affair. Was is it fan rivalry? Was it Hosni Mubarak’s Supporters? Did the Military show heavy handiness to send a signal to wider society?

The Arab Spring in Egypt was quick to be dubbed as a secular uprising by Secularists in a bid to ward off the ‘anarchy’ an Islamic uprising’ would bring. Even those groups who were Islamic bought into that idea who despite winning Elections have largely left Egypt to function and run as it was before.

Imported culture from abroad has its baggage. Whether this is the tourism industry which caters Alcohol, Music, Dancing and bikini beaches or Football Hooliganism, mainly equated with Countries from the Western Hemisphere which rears its ugly head from time to time. These are products of Secularism built upon ideals which clash against the cultural, religious heritage and traditions of the majority of Egyptians.

Those advocating secularism in the Arab uprising as well as those Islamic Groups who remain silent despite banking government positions must question the tragedy at the stadium and ask serious questions about the future of Egypt.

A society based on Islam will limit Al-Laghwh (distractions) imported from abroad and re-balance the focus of its citizens to more productive pursuits where honour is not limited to wins and losses over a leather football but by a decent outlook of life which breeds responsibility. Allah (Swt) mentions in the Quran

And when they hear ill speech, they turn away from it and say, “For us are our deeds, and for you are your deeds. Peace will be upon you; we seek not the ignorant. [Surah Al-Qasas 28-55]


  1. AbuTalha says:

    What a tragedy to lose so many lives in such a manner. Death at football match should not surprise anyone. Here in England every match day the amount of policing required to keep the rival fans apart is quiet something. You hav to blame the shallow thkining of the fans who believe their team being superior and hate for rivals. just as you would find in someone who has strong tribal/nationalistic feeling leading them to being racist and hateful.

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