Muslims must learn to appreciate football

Mike Baker offers his impressions of a conference of Muslim students in Leicester:

“They made an arresting sight. Many wore traditional caps, headscarves and flowing robes. There were plenty of beards amongst the young men. Incongruously, they met at the Walkers Stadium, the home of Leicester City Football Club. Welcoming them, the chief executive of the club asked how many of them were football fans. Only a small minority indicated they were.

“Hardly any had been to a match at the ground, even though they all came from fairly nearby, either Leicester itself, Coventry or Birmingham. This was a sharp reminder of the cultural divide that can exist. The Muslim community in Leicester is large and well-established. The football club is well supported in the city. But local Muslim students do not join their fellow white and black students on the terraces.”

BBC News, 23 September 2005

What is this – the “football test”? If so, this member of the Islamophobia Watch collective would certainly fail it.