Home > Features >

Why it’s not right to tag the word “Muslim” to Usman Khawaja

Why it's not right to tag the word

Usman Khawaja made his Test debut for Australia against England in January 2011 © Getty Images

By Adrian Meredith

It has been widely reported in the press that Usman Khawaja is the first Muslim to play cricket for Australia.
 
I seriously disagree with that.
 
Players’ religion has never been recorded. How many people know what religion Michael Clarke is? Or Ricky Ponting? Or Matthew Hayden? Or Shane Warne? The simple fact is that we don’t know. We might assume that they are either Christian, agnostic, or atheist – we don’t know. For all we know, one of them might have been the first Muslim to play cricket for Australia. It is just that they kept it to themselves, as they are quite permitted to do.
 
The fact of the matter is that religion and race don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Right now, Islam is the second largest religion in the world, behind Christianity, and is also the fastest growing. While many westerners associate Islam with Arabs, there are actually a lot of non-Arabs who are Muslims, such as the Bosnian Muslims, who are white. Cat Stevens, a white folk singer from England, converted to Islam and became known as Yusuf Islam.
 
We know a player’s country of birth, and I can say with absolute certainty that Khawaja is the first player ever to play for Australia who was born in Pakistan.
 
Lisa Sthalekar is written as Indian-born and Gurinder Singh Sandhu, the Australian under-19 fast bowler, as a player of Indian origin than. We don’t hear the media make mentions of their religion. 

What religion was Colin “Funky” Miller? He was a bit odd and I can easily believe that he would have been in a religion other than the predictable Christian. What about Jason Gillespie?
 
What if Khawaja isn’t actually Muslim? Just because he is Pakistani doesn’t mean necessarily mean he is Muslim. Yousuf Youhana was Christian till he converted to Islam and became known as Mohammad Yousuf

Who was the first Hindu to play Test cricket? The first Buddhist? The first Sikh? The first Jew? The first atheist? The first agnostic? None of those statistics are available. So why say Khwaja is the first Muslim to play for Australia?
 
It makes sense to just call him the first Pakistan-born player not the first Muslim player.

(Adrian Meredith, an Australian from Melbourne, has been very passionate about cricket since he was seven years old. Because of physical challenges he could not pursue playing the game he so dearly loved. He loves all kinds of cricket – from Tests, ODIs, T20 – at all levels and in all countries and writes extensively on the game)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 10, 2014  at Dubai

Australia won by 5 wkts

Photos

India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala

Videos

AB de Villiers speaks ahead of New Zealand ODIs

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 Salaam Cricket West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

Kevin Pietersen is probably the best cricketer I have played with: Eoin Morgan

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: SLC defend decision to tour

Jesse Ryder’s New Zealand comeback possible: Mike Hesson

Sudeep Tyagi included in Saurashtra squad for Ranji Trophy one-day team

Kerala’s 1st greenfield stadium meets ICC standards

Virender Sehwag turns 36: Five most memorable innings of the Nawab of Najafgarh

New Zealand begin ICC World Cup 2015 preparations with 15 ODIs in store

Virender Sehwag paid birthday tribute to by Sophos Antivirus

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

474 Posts | 5 Fans

Video Highlights Mohammed Yousuf drops catch after watching a girl in bikini

आपकी दिवाली खुशनुमा, सुरक्षित और शुभ हो

Deepika Padukone’s ex boyfriend at Strip Club with Freida Pinto

Movies to watch this week: Happy New Year!

सेक्स टिप # 13: महिलाओं में कामेच्छा (low libido) की समस्या

iOS 8.1 update now available bringing Camera Roll, SMS Relay, iCloud Photo library among others

Magic Bus Has Houston’s Attention–First Fundraising Gala Nets Over $350,000

Bigg Boss 8 highlights: RJ Pritam solves inmates problems while Ali Quli Mirza creates more on Day 29!

IBM to pay $1.5 billion to GlobalFoundries to buy its chip division

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here