Tuesday, May 2

"Priests and imams to play ball in a game of two faiths"

I couldn't think of a better title than the one of the story.

With just over a month to go before the World Cup, a team of imams will play a team of Christian priests. “It’s been difficult to find a rabbi who will referee on the Sabbath,” sighs the Rev Christopher Jage-Bowler, “but we are trusting in God.”

The first thing that came to this blogger's mind was "This is Rad." In this crazy, dyadic world of cultural sensitivity with a bit too much outright religious bigotry, it's refreshing to see something like this come across our radars. Not to mention the author's addition of some good old tongue- in- cheek humor that the British are so good at.

Switching the game from next Saturday to Friday has been ruled out by the Muslim side, since this is their day of prayer. The Christian clergy, meanwhile, have a problem with Sunday. The 44-year-old vicar, mastermind of the seven-a-side match, is confident that the problems will be resolved before kick-off.

The imams are ready to abandon their Kufi hats and the vicars will leave their cassocks in the vestry in favour of orthodox football kit.

I wish I could be in Berlin to see that game, just for the off the wall nature of it all. Here are men of two religions --two religions which have not had the most "friendly" of relations for the last 1400 years-- playing a game of Fußball. Not trying to kill the other for heresy is a good start to building some bridges, especially if the losing team is good sports about it.


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