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What is happening to human rights in the so-called largest democracy, Mesut Ozil asks as he prays for Muslims in India

On the holy night of Lailat al-Qadr, the footballer prayed for safety and well-being of the Muslim brothers and sisters in India.

April 28, 2022 / 01:00 PM IST

German football Mesut Ozil on April 28 condemned the human rights violations in the 'so called' largest democracy in the world.

On the holy night of Lailat al-Qadr, the footballer prayed for safety and well-being of the Muslim brothers and sisters in India.

Lailat al-Qadr is the day when the Quran was fully revealed.

He further questioned the human rights in the so-called largest democracy in the world, calling it shameful.

The 33-year-old footballer took to Twitter and wrote, "Praying during the holy night of Lailat al-Qadr for the safety and well-being of our Muslim brothers and sisters in India. Let's spread awareness to this shameful situation! What is happening to the human rights in the so-called largest democracy in the world?"

Earlier this month, he also spoke about world peace.


“Let’s keep praying for peace in the world – not just in Ukraine, but also in Palestine, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and all other places in the world where people are suffering from war #StopWAR #JummaMubarak #M1Ö


Ozil has always been an outspoken person.

Earlier in December 2019, he spoke about the issues faced by Uighurs in China, accusing other Muslims of staying silent on the subject.

He posted on Instagram saying: “East Turkistan, the bleeding wound of the Ummah, resisting against the persecutors trying to separate them from their religion. They burn their Qurans. They shut down their mosques. They ban their schools. They kill their holy men. The men are forced into camps and their families are forced to live with Chinese men. The women are forced to marry Chinese men.


“But Muslims are silent. They won’t make a noise. They have abandoned them. Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself?"


After this his then team Arsenal had to put out a statement saying, “The content published is Ozil's personal opinion. As a football club, Arsenal has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics.”


Chinese state broadcaster CCTV had also dropped an Arsenal versus Manchester City match from its programme after Ozil expressed support for  Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang.


Ozil is currently an attacking midfielder and is the captain of Turkish Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe.

In 2018, Ozil quit the German national football team, citing "racism" in the criticism of him in the side's World Cup debacle

He faced a barrage of criticism for having his photograph taken with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in May.

He and Ilkay Gundogan, a team mate also of Turkish descent who posed with Erdogan as well, were jeered by German fans in warm-up games before the World Cup in Russia.


Germany failed to qualify from the group stage, making their earliest exit from the tournament in 80 years and Ozil was one of the scapegoats for their unsuccessful title defense.


Ozil, who played for English club Arsenal, said German Football Association (DFB) President Reinhard Grindel had blamed him for Germany’s poor performance.


“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil wrote in a lengthy statement in English posted on his Twitter account.


He added he did not feel accepted in German society despite paying taxes there, making donations to German schools and being part of the team that won the World Cup.


“It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect,” he said.


“I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t,” he said. “I feel unwanted and think that what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten.”



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first published: Apr 28, 2022 01:00 pm
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