England cricket vice-captain Moeen Ali posts his support for Palestine on Instagram alongside Malcolm X quote about ‘hating the oppressed’… before swiftly deleting it, hours after he said he feared being labelled an extremist
- The player is currently playing for England in the ODI Cricket World Cup.
- Ali had already shown his support for the territory in 2014 with slogan bracelets
- Few athletes have publicly shared their views, with UEFA and FIFA remaining silent.
England vice-captain Moeen Ali posted and then deleted a photo including a Palestinian flag in an apparent show of support for the territory.
His first post on the social network Instagram contained a quote from activist Malcolm X accompanied by his image on a mural, which also depicted the Palestinian flag.
The quote read: “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will make you hate people who are oppressed and love those who oppress.”
The original message was later deleted and replaced with the quote itself, typed on a black background with a black and white photo of the American Muslim minister.
The sharing of both posts – and the deletion of the first – comes hours after Ali said he once avoided growing a beard for fear of being labeled an “extremist”.
Moeen Ali shared then deleted a photo including a Palestinian flag because it appeared to show support for the territory
Ali first shared the quote as part of a wall image, then with a photo of Malcolm X.
“Muhammad Ali was a huge inspiration to me because of his upbringing and his coming to Islam,” Moeen, 36, told Sky Sports.
“Then Hashim Amla as a South African cricketer with a big beard. If he can do it, why can’t I? That’s what I wanted to do but I was a little scared at the time. I was young and I didn’t want people to think – even my own family – that I was an extremist or becoming an extremist.
“Because at that time, that’s all people talked about: Muslims were extremists.”
The England star is the second international figure at the Cricket World Cup in India to show support for the Palestinians following the conflict raging in the region following attacks by terrorist group Hamas in Israel on Saturday.
Pakistani Muhammad Rizwan dedicated his country’s century of victory against Sri Lanka to Palestinian civilians.
“It was for our brothers and sisters in Gaza,” Rizwan shared on X (formerly Twitter), before congratulating the Indian fans present at the match.
Ali previously showed similar support, in 2014, by wearing two bracelets engraved with the words “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine”.
The 36-year-old was given permission by the England and Wales Cricket Board to wear both groups on the basis that the player was making a humanitarian rather than a political statement.
However, Ali was asked to remove the strips by the umpire during England’s third Test against India by the International Cricket Council due to their divergent decision.
At the time, the ICC issued the following statement: “ICC equipment and clothing regulations do not permit the display of messages related to political, religious or racial activities or causes during of an international match.
“Moeen Ali has been informed by the match referee that although he is free to express his views on such causes outside the cricket field, he is not allowed to wear the wristbands on the field game and was warned not to wear the wristbands again during an international match.
Few sportspeople have made statements in support of Israel or Palestine, but Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny changed his X (formerly Twitter) photo to that of a Palestinian flag in recent days.
Ali previously shared similar support for the territory in 2014 with bracelets reading “Free Palestine” and “Save Gaza.”
The ECB granted Ali permission on the grounds that his statements were humanitarian and not political, but the ICC ruled that the cricketer was in breach of its rules.
His teammate Oleksandr Zinchenko shared his stance in an Instagram story saying he “supports Israel” – although this was also later deleted after he faced abuse on the platform.
Jewish supporters groups at Chelsea and Arsenal condemned the terrorist attacks on Wednesday as the death toll from the Hamas attack rose to 1,200.
But much of the football community has remained silent, with UEFA and FIFA yet to issue statements.
The FA is still undecided on how to respond to the tragedy, although a report published on Thursday suggested it was “unlikely” to light the Wembley Arch in the colors of the Israeli flag for the FA’s friendly match. England v Australia on Friday “due to fears of a backlash”.