Arsenal player Mesut Ozil is speaking out against slurs against Islam.
A picture tweeted by the German-born Turkish midfielder showing him in the holy city of Mecca along with a quote from the Quran has been retweeted by thousands of users.
Alongside his figure, the photo bears the words in English: “God says in Quran: ‘Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as is he has killed all mankind and whoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind…’”
Above the photo, Ozil wrote: “Terrorism has no place in Islam.”
Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron described Islam as “a religion in crisis” and announced plans for tougher laws to tackle “Islamist separatism.”
Tensions escalated further after the murder on Oct. 16 of a middle school teacher who showed blasphemous cartoons during one of his classes on freedom of expression.
Macron defended the caricatures, saying France would “not give up our cartoons.”
Since then, there have been international condemnations and calls to boycott French products as well as protests in many parts of the Muslim world.
Ozil joined English Premier League side Arsenal in 2013 and has scored 44 goals with 77 assists in 254 games for the Gunners.
He previously played for Germany’s Schalke and Werder Bremen as well as Spanish giants Real Madrid.
The 31-year-old was also part of Germany’s 2014 World Cup-winning squad.
In addition to speaking out against Islamophobia, Ozdil has also raised his voice in defense of the Uighurs of Xinjiang, northwestern China and reports of human rights violations by Chinese authorities.
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