Muslim athlete refuses to pose with beer

entertainment | Oct 18, 2015 | By Martin Barillas

Shkodran Mustafi, a German national of Albanian ancestry who plays for the Valencia CF soccer club of Spain took exception to making a press appearance next to a bottle of beer. The Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper of Germany on October 15 described Mustafi as a devout Muslim. Under Islamic religious law, known as sharia, Muslims are prohibiting from consuming or promoting alcohol. When Mustafi noticed on the table where he appeared a beer bottle of the Spanish Estrella brand, he moved it several feet away.
 
During the press conference, a member of the club staff approached Mustafi and spoke with him. Observers surmised that Mustafi was told that the brew should remain on the table within reach. Mustafi was heard to say "I don't want this bottle of beer in front of me." However, he apparently agreed to make the appearance with the beer, since the club spokesman moved the bottle back to its original position. Mustafi merely shrugged his shoulders in apparent assent. 
 
As the Muslim population of Europe grows, especially with influx of what are expected to be more than 1 million refugees from north Africa and the Mideast, some predict the incidents of this nature can only become more frequent. In the United States and Canada, professional soccer teams do not have sponsorships from brewers or distillers unlike Europe, which does not have the same sensitivities. Mustafi's lavish salary is paid largely by sponsors such as Estrella beer. Reportedly, he earns an annual salary of approximately $900,000.

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