by Ayesha Ulhaq
by Ayesha Ulhaq
London – A photo of British boxer, Anthony Joshua, praying in a mosque, has led to a storm of anti-Islamic comments on social media.
While in Dubai to train for an upcoming fight with Wladimir Klitschko, scheduled for April 27 at Wembley Stadium, the 27-year-old, IBF heavyweight champion visited a mosque.
The photo in question, shared by the boxer himself and seen below, was captioned; “Besides luck, hard work & talent… Prayer is a solid foundation. It was nice to join my brother as he led through afternoon prayer (asr).
Joshua has previously declared that he does not identify with a religion but does have a general interest in faith.
According to British newspaper, The Independent, many fans have claimed to have unfollowed his accounts on social media and will now support Joshua’s opponent, Klitscho, in the upcoming boxing match.
With Islamophobia on the rise in Britain, many people have turned to social media to voice their opinions on the religion itself.
@anthonyfjoshua . Islam has ruined Arab countries, now they want to bring it to our beautiful Christian countries and ruin ours too? BYE!
— Kelly Vander (@KellyVander3) January 17, 2017
The comments, however, do not seem to have affected the 2012 Olympic Games medalist. He has continued to post photos of himself embracing and enjoying Dubai’s culture.
When The Independent questioned Joshua’s representative on the matter, it was confirmed that the boxer has no intention of responding to any of the comments he has received.
Among the comments, it should be noted, many of his followers have reassured Joshua that they will continue to support him.
— Hêlîn (@MUnitedGirl) January 17, 2017
@anthonyfjoshua I don’t care about your race, religion You’re a role model, a world champ & a good hearted guy for me that’s worth the ????
— Suff Dogar (@msdogar) January 17, 2017
For its part, the Muslim community has also shared his post, expressing great appreciation during a time when Islam and Muslims are portrayed negatively in the media.
@Jaykae10 on twitter had said “Anthony Joshua might have lost a couple of narrow minded fake fans but has gained the love and respect of thousands”.
@anthonyfjoshua might of lost a couple narrow minded fake fans but youve gained the love and respect of thousands BIG up AJ
— Jaykae (@Jaykae10) January 17, 2017