While violence in Israel and Gaza has escalated over the past ten days, leading to a growing humanitarian crisis, professional footballers have largely remained silent rather than risk wading into a heated and highly polarized and politicized debate.
For the game’s most recognizable Muslim star—and arguably the most celebrated Muslim athlete in the world—this silence has led to some questions and even criticism. Today, Salah broke his silence.
“It’s not always easy to speak in times like this,” Salah began. “There has been too much violence, too much heartbreak and brutality. The escalations in recent weeks have been unbearable to witness. All lives are sacred and must be protected.
“The massacres need to stop, families are being torn apart. What’s clear now is that humanitarian aid to Gaza must be allowed immediately. The people there are in terrible conditions, and the scenes at the hospital last night were horrifying.
“The people of Gaza need food, water, and medical supplies urgently. I’m calling on world leaders to come together to prevent the further slaughter of innocent souls. Humanity must prevail.”
It would take some effort to find fault or offence in Salah’s statement, though some will undoubtedly do so. For most, though, his plea to prevent further bloodshed at a time when many leaders seem intent on the opposite will be met with approval.