What do Colin Kaepernick and a famous Saudi cleric have in common?

Published September 5th, 2016 - 01:07 GMT
Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers (AFP/Thearon W. Henderson)
Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers (AFP/Thearon W. Henderson)

American football player Colin Kaepernick recently caused a storm throughout US media when he refused to stand during the American national anthem. In a seemingly unrelated but similar incident, Dr. Awad al-Qarni-a famous Saudi cleric-refused to stand during the Saudi national anthem. Al-Qarni’s actions have been interpreted as controversial by locals in Saudi Arabia.

A photo of al-Qarni was widely circulated throughout various social media outlets showing the Sheikh sitting down in a room of people standing up. According to Erem news-a news outlet located in the UAE- local media claims the picture was taken in the town of al-Qarn in the Asir province in Saudi Arabia at an annual tribal conference.

Many Saudis subsequently expressed anger on Twitter at his apparent lack of respect for the national anthem, and the Arabic-language hashtag #why_didn’t_Awad_al-Qarni_stand_for_the_Saudi_anthem trended on Twitter yesterday. Some, on the other hand, found the situation funny.


#why_didn’t_Awad_al-Qarni_stand_for_the_Saudi_anthem He who doesn’t stand for the national anthem in this day and age is questionable in his patriotism, even if he’s a member of the body of senior scholars. Period.


#why_didn’t_Awad_al-Qarni_stand_for_the_Saudi_anthem Because he’s being targeted...by Daesh, Mossad and the Houthis. And if they stopped setting their target on him! God just guide them.

Al-Qarni has yet to comment as to why he refused to stand, according to Erem news.

Although they are likely completely unrelated, this incident follows a similar act widely reported in US media by American football player Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is a player on the San Francisco 49ers who refused to stand during the playing of the American national anthem, protesting police treatment of African-Americans.

Kaepernick told the National Football League (NFL) media in an exclusive interview, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag or a country that oppresses black people and people of color”.

As for al-Qarni, he frequently appears on Saudi TV shows, and is active on social media. 

DL


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