Newcastle Manager Alan Pardew has taken a pioneering decision to build a prayer room at Newcastle's football and training ground for his Muslim stars Demba Ba, Pappa Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa.
LM in an article that was way ahead of its time almost 3 years ago highlighted the amazing Muslim contribution to the Premiership but asked the question what are football and in particular Premier League's Clubs doing to accommodate the religious beliefs of Muslims on and off the pitch. One should take an opportunity of mentioning my team QPR whose manager at the time Neil Warnock showed an excellent and positive understanding about Muslim requirements during Ramadan by allowing Adel Tarrabt a flexible approach to training during his Fast.
More recently LM has singled out the current superb Muslim footballers on display in English Football as well as some more peculiar comments by Muslim players like Hatem Ben Arfa. However, despite this superb level of Muslim talent LM finds it noticeable that I have almost been a lone voice in the wilderness showcasing brilliant Muslim footballers.
How interesting that Comics like the Excrement and Mail who never have a decent word to say about Muslims or Islam are reporting this story sympathetically here and here. In addition, they along with the Goal article above are finally following my lead and commending the positive contribution of Muslim footballers.
While praising Alan Pardew not just in terms of his football managerial ability this season but also for his and Newcastle's superb willingness to embrace players of faith one also continues to wonder why with teams like Man City owned by a Muslim more is not being to promote Islam and more generally any faith as a vehicle for showcasing how Religion and Sport do mix with positive results and fantastic Muslim role models.
With Ramadan on the horizon perhaps LM can lay a challenge at the door of my team QPR by urging them with a host of fabulous Muslim players like Armand Trarore Tarrabt and devout Muslim Taye Taiwo to finally and belatedly pull their finger out by embracing the religious requirements of their players as they hope to build a new training ground in diverse Southall, West London.