A Muslim preacher in Melbourne, Takeadean Mohtadi, has sparked a debate by cautioning fellow believers against supporting the Matildas in the Women’s World Cup, as he believes it is “haram” (forbidden) to watch women’s sport. Mohtadi, the imam at the MyCentre mosque in Broadmeadows, shared his views in a TikTok video that quickly gained traction, receiving 46,000 views.
In the video, Mohtadi addresses his Muslim brothers, saying, “The Women’s World Cup – the Matildas – I’m addressing my Muslim brothers. Did we forget that it is haram for us to look at the opposite gender?” He goes on to express his concern about supporting players who may be part of the LGBTQIA+ community, stating, “They might be hiding under the Australian flag, but the reality is subhanallah [glory to God], these people that you were supporting… these are people of the alphabets, the majority of them.”
Mohtadi emphasizes the importance of reflecting on actions and their impact, even if they may seem insignificant. He says, “But did you forget that the mountain is made up of small pebbles?” His statements have stirred up a range of reactions, with some applauding his commitment to religious beliefs, while others criticize him for promoting discrimination and exclusion.
Bilal Rauf, a spokesman for the Australian National Imams Council, declined to comment specifically on Mohtadi’s statements, highlighting that there are other matters of greater importance. This suggests a division within the Muslim community regarding the acceptance and interpretation of religious principles in relation to women’s sports and LGBTQIA+ individuals.
Mohtadi’s comments coincide with the Matildas’ remarkable run in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which captured the attention of the nation and drew record TV audiences in Australia. The team’s fourth-place finish is hailed as the country’s best effort to date and a transformational moment for women’s sports.
While Mohtadi’s statements may seem controversial to some, they bring attention to the ongoing discussion around religious interpretations and the integration of Islam into mainstream society. As the Australian population becomes increasingly diverse, it is crucial to foster understanding and respectful dialogue to bridge these gaps in beliefs.
In conclusion, the cautionary remarks by Muslim preacher Takeadean Mohtadi against supporting the Matildas in the Women’s World Cup due to religious considerations has generated controversy and debate. The Matildas’ successful campaign and historic achievement have highlighted the growing importance of women’s sports in Australian society, bringing to the forefront discussions about diversity, religious interpretations, and societal integration.