With an objective of empowering sports through religion, a Muslim chaplains organization invited members of Huddersfield Town Academy to a workshop to learn more about Islam and better understand their Muslim teammates.
The workshop was organized by the Muslim Chaplains In Sport, an organization formed to provide a national support network and Muslim chaplains to professional sporting organizations.
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“These workshops always remove a lot of the stereotypes and a lot of questions that players have in their mind that they’ve either been afraid to or never had the opportunity to ask,” said Ismail Bhamji, one of the workshop organizers from MCS, Heddersfield Town reported.
“I think a lot of the players will have left with a very good mindset of exactly what Islam is and what the religion is. This in turn will help in accommodating for the rest of their colleagues and making them feel as comfortable as possible.”
The MCS aims to create an environment which allows people to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the Muslim faith.
Under-19 midfielder Brahima Diarra praised such events, saying they are also crucial to provide his teammates with a better understanding of Islam.
“I think the workshop was good because everyone needs to understand the Muslim religion more,” he said.
“Now my teammates can understand why I pray five times a day and understand some of the Arabic phrases that I say and why I say them. I think it’s really good.”
In different countries, Muslim chaplains often serve both Muslims and non-Muslims, offering spiritual support and guidance.
In recent years, chaplains have also acted as intra-institutional leaders who work towards greater interfaith understanding and community engagement.
Today, Muslim chaplaincy in the West has moved away from da’wah towards a focus on support and pastoral care, according to the Association of Muslim Chaplains, a professional organization begun in 2011.