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Arsenal's Mesut Ozil calls to 'disarm Islamophobia with kindness'

Ozil, also a philanthropist, said Muslims should 'silence' Islamophobia 'with kindness'. [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 November, 2020

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"Let's disarm Islamophobia with kindness," Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil wrote on Twitter.
Turkish German footballer Mesut Ozil on Friday spoke out against rising Islamophobia in Europe and said Muslims should "silence" the narrative with kindness.

"Unfortunately Islamophobia & Antiislamismus [Anti-islamism] is growing in Europe and in other parts of the world with media playing a big role in that," Ozil, a Turkish-origin German and practising Muslim, wrote on Twitter.

"My personal answer to that: We should respond to Islamophobia & Antiislamismus in a way that will not reinforce it, but rather disarm and silence it with kindness," Ozil, who plays for Arsenal, said.

The footballer formerly played for Germany's national football team before retiring citing racism and discrimination in 2018.

Read also: Pompeo backs Arsenal's Ozil after criticism of China's Uighur Muslims persecution

His comments came as a mosque in Germany was targeted by racists amid heightened tensions between europe and its muslim communities. The attackers plastered Islamophobic posters on its walls, calling on 'foreigners' to leave the country.

Also a philanthropist, Ozil has previously donated money to muslim charities delivering iftar packages to Somalia, Syria and Turkey, and has funded surgeries for children.

The 32-year-old, who reportedly earns £350,000 ($470,000) per week at the Emirates Stadium, is the highest-paid player in Arsenal's history.

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