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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Calls to remove Islamophobic Israeli football song insulting Prophet Muhammad

The song was created as a football chant by La Familia [YouTube]

Date of publication: 28 October, 2020

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The head of the Joint List of Arab-Israeli parties, Ayman Odeh called for the removal of a "racist" song by far-right Israeli football fans insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Leading Arab-Israeli politician Ayman Odeh on Wednesday demanded a "racist" song by far-right Israeli football fans insulting the Prophet Muhammad posted on YouTube be removed.

Sung by the hard-line "La Familia" fans of Israel's Beitar Jerusalem football club, the Hebrew-language song insults the prophet, questioning his status and the origins of his mother.

"Any offence against a religious symbol is totally unacceptable," said Odeh, head of the Joint List of Arab-Israeli parties.

"'La Familia' is a racist group... and in a truly democratic state this terrorist group would have been banned for a long time," he added.

Odeh said he had written to YouTube to demand the withdrawal of the song, which has been online since July 2016 but has only recently become "popular".

YouTube, part of Google, has promised to look into his request, Odeh added.

Beitar Jerusalem has historically been considered anti-Muslim and anti-Arab.

But it has been working to change its image in recent years, and in 2017 received an award for its fight against racism.

Odeh's appeal comes amid a wider surge in anger among Muslim communities across the world in reaction to French President Emmanuel Macron's recent defence of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Macron robustly supported the right to mock religion following the murder of a French schoolteacher who had shown his pupils cartoons of the prophet.

Protesters in the Gaza Strip have burned photographs of Macron, while in the mainly Arab neighbourhoods of east Jerusalem, some grocery stores have boycotted French goods.

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