Messi posts pic of wounded Gaza child


FC Barcelona soccer sensation and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Lionel Messi posted a picture of a wounded Palestinian child from the Gaza Strip on his Facebook page Thursday, with an accompanying caption appealing to end all violence affecting children in the region.

“I am terribly saddened by the images coming from the conflict between Israel and Palestine, where violence has already claimed so many young lives and to injure countless children,” Messi, who has nearly 68,000,000 Facebook followers, wrote both in English and in Arabic.

“Children did not create this conflict, but they are paying the ultimate price. This cycle of senseless violence must stop. We must reflect on the consequences of military conflicts and children must be protected,” he concluded.

The post was “liked” over 25,000 times, with many comments praising Messi for taking a stance on the conflict, and others urging him to remove the post.

Last year, Messi and the Barcelona squad took a break from their preseason training and flew to the Holy Land for a two-day “peace tour” with Israeli and Palestinian kids. The visit was originally to have included an exhibition match between Barcelona and a joint Israeli-Palestinian Authority team of professional players, but the game was canceled after the Palestinians objected to playing alongside Israelis.

Source : Times of Israel

19 football fans revert to Islam in Brazil World Cup 2014

revert to Islam

BRASILIA – Answering the call of Islam, 19 football fans attending Brazil World Cup 2014 have reverted to Islam after meeting daw`ah teams spreading across the land of samba over the past month.

The number of reverts to Islam since the start of the World Cup “has increased to reach 19 people of different nationalities after the reversion of English, Spanish and Brazilian fans,” Sheikh Khaled Taky El din, President of the Supreme Council of Imams and Islamic Affairs in Brazil, told the Anadolu Agency.

“Three more football fans, including a British, a Spanish and a Brazilian have taken the declaration of faith (shahada) within the past couple of days after getting introduced to the teachings of Islam by the campaign launched by the Council.

“The three fans knew about Islam from the da`wah stalls following “Know Islam” campaign before expressing with wish to join Islam,” he added.

As the World Cup tournament goes on, a growing number of Brazilians have answered the call to Islam, choosing to accept the message of the world’s fastest growing faith.

Hosted by Brazil for the second time, the FIFA World Cup football tournament have been running from June 12 and will conclude on July 13, 2014.

The launch of the tournament saw the start of several campaigns to introduce Islam to thousands of fans heading from across the world under the leadership of the Federation of Muslim Associations in Brazil (Fambras).

Finalizing their preparations for the huge event, staff at Fambras was preparing their own welcome to about 600,000 fans expected to visit the country during the month-long competition.

Earlier this month, the group announced that a special guide book has been published in Brazil for Muslim fans in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Titled “Salam (hello) Barazil”, 65,000 copies of the 32-page booklet have been published by the Union of Islamic Associations of Brazil in cooperation with the Omani embassy in the South American country.

A 12-hour daily phone service — in English, Arabic, Spanish, French and Portuguese — will also launch before the tournament starts.

Along with the three fans who reverted to Islam, the World Cup has seen the reversion of sixteen more fans from different nationalties according to Sheikh Taky El din.

According to the 2001 census, there are 27,239 Muslims in Brazil.

However, the Islamic Brazilian Federation puts the number at around one and a half million.

Islam expert Paulo Pinto of Fuminense Federal University estimated Brazil is home to about a million Muslims.

With no confirmed number of Muslims, the best indicator of the growth of Islam in the country is the rapid increase in the number of mosques.

There are now 127 mosques, four times as many as there were back in 2000.

Source : OnIslam