The ulema in Malaysia recently issued a statement banning Man Utd shirts. The target of their wrath: The famed red devil crest emblazoned on every Man Utd shirt was anti- Islamic and satanic.
It set of a furor in Malaysia, a country that has thousands of Man Utd supporters. The ulema were forced to change tack saying they did not call for an explicit ban – their focus was on the “wrong values” message being sent out.
“We just advise people not to wear this,” said Harussani Zakaria, a cleric from northern Perak state. “Satan is, for us, our enemy … It’s the wrong value. Satan is always bad.”
As this article highlights, the problem lies with the ruling political party, UMNO, kowtowing to misguided precepts of Malay unity and far right religious voices which are crowding out reformists within the party.