Moeen Ali

Moeen Ali detained at Birmingham airport, further humiliated on Twitter

BIRMINGHAM – England cricketer Moeen Ali was detained at Birmingham airport onSaturday for about 40 minutes owing to ‘airport rules and regulations’, while he was on his way to join the rest of the Worcestershire side for the opening game of the 2016 County Championship.
Ali felt humiliated at being singled out and stopped, and vented his frustration on Twitter.
However, owing to the various kinds of people who feel obliged to air their opinions on social media, this led to a further compounding of the controversy, with some users comparing Ali’s appearance with that of ISIS terrorists. The 28-year-old said that he never had to face a similar issue while travelling with the rest of the team.
He wrote: “Have never been stopped at the airport when travelling with a team in uniform, but travel alone and get stopped for 40 minutes!! Joke.”
A later tweet read: “Birmingham Airport!! Hard times.”
Ali’s family hails from Azad Kashmir, and the cricketer is often regarded as a role model for British Asians. He has grown what is perhaps the most noticeable beard in English cricket since WG Grace, and has spoken eloquently about his faith in the past. Incidentally, he was born at Birmingham, the same city where he had to face the humiliation. It seems that it was his beard and his faith that led to him being detained at his hometown airport on Saturday. Adil Rashid and Owais Shah, other England cricketers of Asian origin, were quick to stand in solidarity with Ali, but not everyone was so considerate.
While some of Ali’s followers said that this was something they were used to, and that he did not have to face this on a regular basis because of his celebrity status. However, there were some other comments which do not deserve any analysis and are representative of the worst kind of sentiments seen so rampantly online.
Citizen Khan star Adil Ray, also from Birmingham, told the cricketer he was also often stopped as he travelled.
He tweeted: “It’s a joke Mo. I get stopped all the time now. Even the eye thing on my passport mysteriously stopped working.”
Responding to questions about the incident, the airport tweeted that Ali had been stopped for not declaring he had exceeded his duty free allowance. That prompted the player to respond: “Apparently can’t buy gifts for the family that’s more then £390.” Ali previously used his status as a high-profile Muslim sportsman to urge British youngsters not to join extremists linked to Islamic State.
Speaking in 2014 about IS atrocities against Christians and Yazidis in northern Iraq, Ali said: “I try and say: ‘This is not Islam, this is just being people brainwashed or whatever’. “If you look at Islam, it condemns this sort of thing.”
Describing himself as a Muslim but also “very English”, Ali accused the media of treating Islam “unfairly” and said Muslims “get given more of a bad name”.
Last year, Shivnarine Chanderpaul had been detained at an airport in the West Indies and put through similar humiliation, but there had been no religous colouring to that incident.

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