Freedom of Speech: Islam Goes Apeshit over Charlie Hebdo Muhammad Cartoons Repub, Quran Eating, and Successful Critical Analysis

grarpamp grarpamp at
Tue Nov 29 00:11:32 PST 2022

Apologists to Islam: noun - Fools who did not read Islam.

US Soccer Coach Apologizes To Iran Over Flag Scandal In Unprecedented Presser

In an unprecedented press conference, the head coach of the US soccer
team Gregg Berhalter apologized to the Iranian team over the altered
flag controversy. However, he asserted that he and the team had no
involvement with the weekend social media post which unleashed a
firestorm of controversy.

"We had no idea about what U.S. Soccer put out. The staff, the
players, we had no idea," Berhalter said at the Monday press
conference. "Our focus is on this match," he added. That's when he
issued a formal apology amid Tehran's insistence that the US team be

    "We're not focused on those outside things and all we can do, on
our behalf, is apologize on behalf of the players and the staff. But
it’s not something that we were a part of."

Gregg Berhalter takes media questions in Doha, Getty Images.

"I'm not well versed on international politics. I’m a football coach,"
he had stressed while being grilled by international reporters
covering the World Cup in Doha.

Iran over the weekend and into Monday said that the US Soccer
federation had "disrespected the national flag of Islamic Republic of
Iran," and additionally that it was "unethical and against
international law." State media described that the US had removed "the
symbol of Allah" from the Iranian flag in social media posts. The
original national flag of Iran has since been restored to the US
team's social media accounts.

As Axios previews, "The U.S. team will play Iran on Tuesday in a match
that is a must-win for the USA in order to advance to the knock-out
stage of the World Cup tournament." As for Iran, it "can sneak through
with a draw if Wales doesn't defeat England in their next match, also
taking place Tuesday."

* * *

Iran is demanding that the US Soccer team be disqualified from the
World Cup going into Tuesday's much anticipated US-Iran match, after
more off-field controversy has sent tensions to boiling point.

A Saturday social media post across the official social media accounts
of the US Soccer Federation (USSF), including Facebook, Twitter, and
Instagram - featured an altered version of the Iranian national flag
without the Islamic emblem in the center. US Soccer said it was to
show solidarity with the ongoing 'anti-hijab' protest movement which
has been raging for over two months inside Iran.
Getty Images: Flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran

"We wanted to show our support for the women in Iran with our graphic
for 24 hours," the US Soccer federation said. The USSF said this was
in "support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights."

In response, Iran's soccer federation said the move "disrespected the
national flag of Islamic Republic of Iran," and additionally that it
was "unethical and against international law."

It is driving outrage inside Iran, given that state media is
describing that the US is "removing the symbol of Allah" from the
Iranian flag. According to a description in the Associated Press:

    The Islamic Republic emblem, designed in 1980, is four curves with
a sword between them. It represents the Islamic saying: "There is no
god but God." It also resembles a tulip or lotus.

In response, on Sunday Iran state media called for the US team to be
immediately booted from the World Cup for the intentionally "distorted
image" of the flag.

Tasnim news agency said in a statement, "By posting a distorted image
of the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran on its official account,
the US football team breached the FIFA charter, for which a 10-game
suspension is the appropriate penalty." It emphasized: "Team USA
should be kicked out of the World Cup 2022."

    Iran's soccer federation called for the U.S. to be expelled from
the World Cup over social media posts that featured a doctored version
of Iran's flag. U.S. Soccer said that it was meant to show support for
the women of Iran, but later deleted the posts.
    — The New York Times (@nytimes) November 27, 2022

The flag sans Islamic emblem appeared for 24 hours and then the actual
flag was restored...

    The US soccer team changed Iran’s flag ahead of their match, then
changed it back to its correct form after Iran complained to FIFA.
    — Richard Medhurst (@richimedhurst) November 27, 2022

FIFA has thus far not indicated whether it will take any punitive action.

Already there has been much off-the-field controversy and drama in
Qatar, including a strict FIFA ban on players wearing 'pro-LGBT'
armbands - which a number of European teams had initially planned to
do, but have since backed off of.

For Iran especially, Qatar 2022 continues to be one of the most
politicized World Cups in recent memory...

    The sore losers of British state media
    — Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) November 26, 2022

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