Mohamed Salah’s plea to ‘protect’ lives in Gaza has received mixed reaction on social media.
Following the escalation of conflict in Gaza, between Israeli forces and the Islamic Militant movement ‘Hamas’, Liverpool’s Egypt international released a video pleading for an end to the ‘massacres’.
The video was only 50 seconds long, but the emotion dispalyed on the close up shot of Salah’s face conveyed more than the message itself.
While the Reds forward didn’t endorse or condemn either side, saying “All lives are sacred and must be protected,” he did emphasise that the Israeli government must stop the blockade of Gaza. Added Salah: “What’s clear now is that humanitarian aid to Gaza must be allowed immediately, the people there are in terrible conditions.”
The video, posted by the biggest sports star to hail from the Middle East, has gained lots of publicity, with 125 million views in 14 hours.
The reaction on X (formerly twitter) is mixed. A number of popular football accounts on the social media site have praised the Liverpool player, with messages such like: “My respect for him has increased ten folds after this.”
This is huge considering how huge of a superstar he is. It makes it way more easier for players to come out and speak without worrying for their career. My respect for him has increased ten folds after this https://t.co/KsqqV2vsxZ
— 𝐄𝐑 (@ErlingRoIe) October 18, 2023
and “Can’t stress how badly we need all players to come out to say this.”
Can’t stress how badly we need all players to come out to say this, if Zinchenko can stand with Israel without a single punishment then footballers can speak up for Palestine like this. https://t.co/p8SqZN7IfQ
— Mod (@CFCMod_) October 18, 2023
However, not all of the responses have been as supportive. A number of accounts have questioned Salah’s faith to Islam, a continual criticism following a post he made a few years ago celebrating Christmas with his family. Some have even denounced his statements, labelling Salah a “traitor.”
He had to make a video so all his muslim fans won't see him as the traitor he is, now he can go on with his life, Halloween and Christmas is around the corner anyway https://t.co/f9urYTyrP2
— Intellectual caveman (@KrieguFriede) October 20, 2023
There’s also those feeling that this video is simply for public relations reasons, citing the lack of condemnation for either side as “cowardly.”
‘At least he spoke out’
No. This is a cowardly, spineless statement
“Um it’s bad what’s happening, humanitarian aid must be allowed to Gaza”
Zero condemnation of Israel’s actions.
How can a Muslim with such a huge influence come out with a statement like this.
“It’s a… https://t.co/NGVWQQP8Dh
— Dkay (@dkayofficial_) October 18, 2023
Salah’s home nation of Egypt opened their borders to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza just two hours after the video was posted, with many attributing this to his pleas for help.
While there’s no end to the violence in sight, it is hoped that more high profile figures can speak up in a way that will be beneficial for all those suffering.
*Featured image Mo SCreative Commons – https://www.farsnews.com/photo/13980524000054/سوپرجام-اروپا-لیورپول-چلسی