That the Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed ordered Israeli athletes out of his country is no more news. The gist now is that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has reacted to the move by stripping Malaysia of the right to host the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships.
“Yes, that served them right. No country messes with Israel and gets away with it”, die-hard Israeli supporters even among Arab Muslim apologists said. But did Malaysia care? Of course not!
Malaysia’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has issued a strong statement where he said the country stood by its decision to bar Israeli athletes.
“If hosting an international sporting event is more important than standing up for our Palestinian brothers and sisters who get murdered, maimed and tortured by the Netanyahu regime, that means Malaysia has truly loss its moral compass”, he said, justifying the ban against the apartheid Israeli nation.
“Malaysia stands firm with our decision on the ground of humanity and compassion for the Palestinian plight. We will not compromise.”
The Championships, a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, had been scheduled to take place in Kuching, Malaysia between 29 July and 4 August.
The IPC said on Sunday that a new venue would be sought for the same dates, although there might have to be some flexibility in light of the circumstances.
“All World Championships must be open to all eligible athletes and nations to compete safely and free from discrimination,” said IPC president Andrew Parsons in a statement after a meeting of the IPC governing board in London.
IPC cited Malaysia’s discrimination against Israel but the world keeps criminally silent on Israel’s discrimination and harassment against millions of Palestinians in Occupied West Bank and Gaza, which has been under siege since 2006.
Last week, no fewer than 5 Palestinian footballers were hit by Israeli strikes during a game between Palestinian football teams, Al Ebeidiyah and and Al Doha from the UAE. The match, which is part of the January Asian Cup, was later cancelled.
Muslim News can authoritatively confirm that there were similar attacks on Palestinian football players in the past, with no actions taken by the football governing body against the Israeli attackers.
On September 26 2016, tear gas was fired into the hall of the Hebron Youth Football Club and several Palestinians sustained various degrees of injuries.
Two years later, in February 1 2014 tear gas was also fired outside the national stadium in Al Ram causing a league game to be cancelled because players, spectators and officials could not breathe.
The football governing body, FIFA has been accused of ignoring the plight of Palestinian footballers playing in the occupied territories.
With the latest reaction, Muslim News believes that Prime Minister Mahathir is sending a strong signal to the world and wants the Arab world to stand with their brothers and sisters in Palestine and other troubled regions of the world.
Dr Mahathir was among, alongside President of Turkey, Recep Toyyib Erdogan and three others, the top 5 Global Personalities of the year 2018, as announced by Muslim News, Nigeria’s most authoritative Islamic newspaper.