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August 11, 2016 3:20 pm

Fans Pressure Egyptian Judoka Not to ‘Shame Islam’ by Contending Against Israeli at Rio Olympics

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby. Photo: Wikipedia.

Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby. Photo: Wikipedia.

An Egyptian judoka is being pressured on social media not to show up for his scheduled Friday-afternoon fight against an Israeli contender at the Olympics in Rio, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Thursday.

According to the report, in spite of repeated assertions from the chairman of the Egyptian Olympic Committee that Islam El Shehaby will appear on the mat for his slated match against Israeli judoka Or Sasson – going as far as to warn the athlete that, if he fails to do so, his Egyptian citizenship will be revoked – calls from fans on Facebook and Twitter for him to shun the fight have been intensifying.

“You will shame Islam,” wrote one angry follower. “If you lose, you will shame an entire nation and yourself. We don’t want to think what will happen if you lost to an Israeli. Victory will give you nothing. How can you cooperate with a murderous nation?”

El Shehaby, who is known for his extreme anti-Israel views, told Egyptian media outlets that he would make his decision closer to the fight. “The situation is very sensitive,” he said. “And I don’t want to discuss it.”

The 2010 World Judo Championship bronze medalist in the over-100-kilo category is supposed to fight Sasson, winner of two silver medals — one in 2015 and a second in 2016 — in the European championships.

According to nrg, Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev called on Egypt to “respect the spirit of the Olympics and act accordingly.” She also called on the International Olympic Committee to prevent the games from being “tainted by politics.”

As The Algemeiner reported earlier this month, diplomatic ties between Egypt and Israel have been strengthening in the three years since the military coup that ousted former President Mohamed Morsi.

On a visit to Jerusalem in July, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was not only photographed next to a bust of state of Israel visionary Theodor Herzl, but watched the European soccer championships on TV with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The controversy surrounding El Shehaby is not the first incident of its kind at the Olympic Games in Brazil.

On August 5, the Lebanese delegation to the games refused to share a bus meant to take the athletes to the opening ceremony with the Israeli team. Subsequently, on Aug. 7, Saudi Arabian judoka Joud Fahmy forfeited her first-round match against Christianne Legentil from Mauritius, reportedly in order to avoid competing against Israeli contender Gili Cohen in the next round.

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  • Andy

    It’s this kind of attitude that ensures ignorance, bigotry and hatred will live on for years. As much as we claim for peace, we will never truly have it as long as we wish the next man was dead.

    I wish I could send a message straight to Mr. el-Shehaby and whoever else is egging him on to tell them this: it’s okay to stand for your country and religion, but it should give you no right whatsoever to be an idiot about it. Both on and off the tatami. The true shame would actually be not competing: the best expression he can give as a sportsman is stepping out there and fighting, and if he’s defeated, hey, it’s okay, tomorrow’s another day, there’ll be other chances. Who’s to say things couldn’t be different in another meeting?

    He was stupid to snub his opponent because he committed the mortal sin of being a Jew (irony mine, for those who can’t grasp it), and a coward for deciding to retire after the blowout of his actions.

  • Jojo

    Mr Islam stop checking and reading your Facebook and Twitter…just do ur best representing your country. Losing doesn’t make you a loser or shaming ur country..NO! But HATE makes you a Loser!!! Just saying… ?

  • Fred friendly

    Your name is synonymous with being a coward and a pussy.
    Your prophet is looking down on you in disgrace.
    And the world is LAUGHING at you!

  • KA

    Hi everyone…
    You think the Egyptian judoka’s reaction is extreme? Well… reading some of your comments I really wonder who’s extreme.
    Just a small clarification if you are interested… the issue is not about religions… our religions are thousands of years old… why is the conflict 50 or 60 years old only??? The issue is about invasion… and the forced creation of a Jewish state by an extremists group among the Jews… who certainly doesn’t represent Judaism… Just like Daesh or isis absolutely does not represent Islam but want to create an Islamic state. It is pure exploitation of religions for political and financial interests.(by the way… for the info… there are no Israeli Muslims as one of the comments suggested. Isrealis can only be Jews. This is the basis of Israel. This is not me saying… you can check this info)
    You too get a good share of the brainwashing. If you really want to know the truth…try to find it out.
    Having said that I do not necessarily support what the judoka did… i was just wondering why no one calmly asks the obvious: why do these people have so much against Israel?
    Thanks Algemeiner (if this is published)

    • levi

      Islam has been at war for 1000 years against anything that not islam and any islamic group that is not enough radical islamic, a few books on history wouldn’t hurt you, better yet just open your eyes and look every conflict around the middle east,more people have died in syria than all the casualities in all wars israely has faced since 1948 combined,radical islam is like a starfish you caught off a limb it regrows on its own.

  • art frank

    This 1/2 witted egyptian, like most of his race, hates Jews because they know Jews are smarter and more successful then they are. Jealousy, hatred, stupidity, violence=typical

  • Marc

    Girls playing beachball in burkini’s, that other athlete refuses to show up and this idiot not shaking hands after a fair match. These muslims make complete fools of themselves.

  • El Kebab

    retarded religion is retarded.

  • Dani

    Would´t it be a good idea to solve all wars in the Olympic manner? Remember David and Goliat or Héctor and Aquiles. In those old days, the champion of each side would fight the champion of the other and the winner side would obtain the trophy and spoil of war leaving no casualties but for one person. We can do the same but nobody has to die. Think about it.

  • The Arabs just don’t stop. They know no rules. They know no respect or honore.

    How many countries have to endure these insults at a supposedly “all nations come together in peace” and already the Lebanese have created an international incident by not allowing Israeli athletes to board the bus taking them to the games and now this Egyptian insult.

    If the Israelis had done those insults the whole world would have condemned us.

    I only hope that there is not an attack on the Jews like the one in Munich in 1972 which resulted in the deaths of Israeli athletes but the Olympics went on because it was only Jews.

    I would have made sure that the Olympics were shut down that da.

    If you don’t respect me than fear me!

  • Becky S

    He’s a big baby and a L-O-S-E-R

  • rosa

    The olympics are about fraternization. I would suggest that any country that does not disqualify its participants for this kind of behaviour ( fi lebanon, ) should be instantly disqualified as a participating country and sent home. But as it took the Olympics committee 44 years to acknowledge the murder on 12 athletes I don’t have high hopes for any courageous act. Sports is only the means to a financial end.
    I would opt for ending this whole olympic charade where money ends up in pockets of the undeserving and the poor inhabitants end up with dilapidated stadiums.

  • Henk

    They should disqualify any muslim , simply on the sole fact of being a muslim

    • Henk your statement is racist.

    • HenkHater

      Way to show acceptance and tolerance that the Games are trying to preach… You are no better than the people telling the judoka not to compete against an Israeli

    • Tony

      They should make them go against every israile competitor . They would all go home wasting 4 years training for nothing . It would give them something to think about

    • Dan

      And our president calls Islam a religion of acceptance and peace. This situation shows Islam’s pettiness and contempt for any religion that is not their own. The Olympics are meant to create unity and allow other countries to come together outside the political drama, but thanks to the internet, there is no escaping the bs. Shame to the fans that asked him to throw the match and shame to him for being such a bad sport. But to Israel, this is just another example of triumph of god’s people.

  • DaveTLV

    Just watched this event- absolutely shameful how the Egyptian showed poor sportsmanship after losing to his Israeli opponent. Wouldn’t shake his hand, wouldn’t bow to him. Just goes to show how deep the brainwashing goes- even in the Olympics meant to bring the world together for peaceful competition there is this kind of blind hatred.

    • 1_Ummah

      @Dave have you ever commented on killing of Palestinian by israel.They are killing,destroying muslim homes and when they show their agony you felt so bad.Humanity comes first and sports afterwards.Every normal person will behave likewise.

  • Adam

    What if it were an Israeli-Arab? or Israeli Muslim? would he then fight?

    • The complete ban of an entire nation is the same closed minded fecal matter that began this conversation in the first place. Competitors should be held to the spirit of the Olympic Games(Competition(Best Man/Woman WINS)-performance enhancing substances-Politics/political views/Influence) and if they infringe upon that spirit then their participation in that years events should be immediately terminated, and their membership as a future Olympian should be placed under review by an official committee to determine their future participation in the Olympic games. Play by the rules or stay your dumb ass at home.

    • Lynne Marton

      Adam, that is my question too!

    • Dani Renan

      Adam, interesting question. My guess is that the opinions among the Arabs would cover the entire spectrum. But El Shehaby, who is known to particularly vehemently ant-Israel, probably would have acted exactly the same, claiming at best that his opponent is a traitor, to fight under the Zionist banner.

      On the other hand the Palestinian leadership and probably the majority of Palestinians would ignore the flag, and just claim that a Palestinian won. They probably would photoshop and change the Israeli flag to a Palestinian one.

  • Adam

    Honestly, all Muslim countries should be banned! If you don’t like it, tough! do something about the hate in your lands. Treat Women with Respect, All Religions tolerated and accepted, accept the fact that Israel has a right to exist in PEACE

    • HenkHater

      So “all religions [should be] tolerated and accepted” but any muslim country should be banned from the games? So all religions except for Islam should be accepted? Way to show off your ignorance

  • ART

    Where are all the people of “good faith” who want “peace”? Isn’t the Olympics supposed to bridge the differences of nations thru athletics? Isn’t the normalization of relations a step towards “peace”?

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    It seems to me, it seems that now is the right time to put politics and religion aside and for the athletes to compete most important for themselves individually and personally, for their teammates secondarily, and for their respective countries thirdly. The aura of these Olympic games should be the touchstone to the transcendent human condition.

    • Funk

      Another show of true Islam….crazy intolerant stupid….this guy is screwed either way

  • “When you lose you will shame an entire nation & Islam” and when you win it is of no significance.

    Bunch of collective imbeciles!

  • Shari Wolson

    It’s a shame that true sportsmanlike conduct cannot play out because Arabs can’t play nice. There unsportsmanlike conduct should have them expelled from the games.

  • You are stating these are his views. Most of us think we have views but we are nothing more than parrots of what we are fed by the education system, religious systems and mostly the media on the idiot box.This is world wide and still today almost the entire world’s leadership scapegoats Jews and Israel to divert attention from their own failed policies.The whole purpose of the olympics is to transcend political BS and if contenders from certain countries cannot rise to the occasion they should be disqualified from participating.

  • Mr. El Shehaby should exhibit sportsmanship, and compete against Mr. Sasson. When some Arab athletes refuse to share a bus with Israelis, and forfeit matches to avoid Israelis–that proves the Arab-Israel conflict persists, due to Arabs deliberately denying Israel’s existence.

  • Ron

    I guess Islam is a bunch of weaklings and cowards.

  • Myron Slater

    These athletes from Moslum countries, are afraid to compete with Israeli athletes because they will be beaten, and the home country will shun them.

  • Bala Bafoofkit

    Islam has no shame

  • Leslie Benjamini

    They just show their true insecurity & how “honor ” means more to them than morality or ethics or sportsmanship. They do not realize that showing up & do the best you can is worth more than who wins. They are 3 year olds in grown men’s bodies. It’s typical of their world view.

  • ed

    I am of neither the Jewish of Islamic faiths but to think that some religious extremist/s would threaten or demean a dedicated athlete for competing against another athlete of a different faith is sickening in the extreme. Although the vast, vast majority of muslins would be decent people wanting live an everyday life with family and friends, it’s people like El Shehaby and his likes that bring scorn upon religions and the peoples of those faiths. For you Mr Shehaby, to come last in an Olympic competition is still an achievement as it and honour and an achievement merely to be select to compete in the Olympics. It’s people like you who demean your faith internationally.

  • So watt let him forfeit the fight ,they will ask Allah to forgive the idiots and all will be OK

  • SteveHC

    Given that this guy is apparently well known for being an anti-Israel extremist himself, who cares what he does and why should Miri Regev be encouraging him one way or another? If he fails to show up he then “shames” Egypt and the larger Arabic world; if he shows up and loses to Israel he then also “shames” Egypt and the larger Arabic world; and if he shows up and somehow WINS over Israel he gets accused of “collaborating” with Arabs’ imaginary “enemy” (meaning it is only these idiots who insist on claiming that Israel is somehow the “enemy” here). So again – who cares what this anti-Semite does or does not do in this regard???

  • Linda

    stupid is as stupid does.

  • it is disappointing that there is so much hysteria and hate around an athletic competition.

    if the quoted comments are typical (one hopes that they are not), they are indicative of a staggering level of immaturity.

    why worry about a defeat for the Egyptian judoka? why not worry about whether he demonstrates skill and good sportsmanship? if does demonstrate skill and good sportsmanship, there can be no humiliation, only honor, for himself, his team, and his country.

    do the infantile haters want to return to the days of war? that would be a really great future for Egypt…great plan for a future of big speeches, colorful posters, martial music, devastation, grinding poverty, and ignorance.

  • It’s not called ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’ for nothing.

  • manley kiefer

    Forfeiting a match for reasons other than physical incapacity could be considered as an honorable loss but using the excuse of religion is unacceptable in the spirit of the Olympic Games and is akin to the fear of losing and disgracing one’s self, country, or religion and certainly is a clear demonstration of the lack ofsportsmanship.

  • HaDaR

    It’s time to do away and outlaw this SUPREMACIST AND WARRING POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
    Only when the Mohammedans will be treated by the civilized world as the Nazis were, which implies razing their cities to the ground, and phosphor bombs, we’ll see them changing: they understand ONLY strength, and only when their moon-god is defeated, and their stone idol in Mecca destroyed, they’ll START a development that stopped for them 1500 years ago.
    Any Western country that brings in Muslims, or that allows them to remain despite the fact that they are foot soldiers in the war of Islamic world conquest, is very similar to a heroin addict.
    As in any war, some soldiers wear uniforms, carry guns, and openly fight; but there is also a huge infrastructure, those who sew the uniforms, write the manuals, do the laundry, treat the wounded, cook the food; or produce the weapons, food, or next generation of soldiers. And then there are the diplomats, ambassadors, negotiators, strategists–the ones who wear suits and are well-spoken and well-educated–particularly in the language and culture of their enemy. And then there are some–perhaps most dangerous of all–who are attractive, pleasing, friendly, nice: these are the creators of smokescreens; infiltrators; spies; and the ones who persuade their enemies that there’s no danger or war at all so that they unlock the gates and lower their guard.
    These don’t resemble each other superficially; but all are essential functionaries of the army.
    There’s a saying in the addiction counseling field: “Pay me now, or pay me later.” It means that there’s always going to be a cost for pursuing your addiction, no matter how good it might feel in the moment. And the longer you wait, the higher will be the cost.
    Taking in Muslim immigrants, or ‘refugees’, is the same as taking heroin. It will have at least as deadly consequences. We can pay now–by recognizing the truth and outlawing Islam; or we can pay later, when it will cost a lot more, payable in our own blood.
    This is true for every country in the world; but nowhere is it more dire and urgent than for Israel.
    The enemies must be made to go. Must. There is no other choice. They can be deported peacefully, or it will happen in the context of a massive, bloody war. Let’s try the former, while there’s still that choice. Otherwise, the day will come when that will not be a choice. And woe unto all of us.
    We’re a strong people, living according to the Lord’s design in the Land that He bequeathed to us. We don’t have to grovel for crumbs of approval while ‘good people’ watch our children being murdered for the crime of existing on our own Land.
    These killings and maimings could be stopped. Islam must be named for the subversive, violent and evil ideology it is; for the political system for world conquest that it is; and IT MUST BE OUTLAWED. There is no place for this abomination in the Holy Land!
    All who adhere to it must be deported. Not bought off. Not appeased. Not hugged and embraced and included and understood. REMOVED.
    The few ‘good’ or ‘nice’ or ‘loyal-to-Israel’ ones that there genuinely are…are like the sugar that helps a bitter pill go down. They’re the camouflage wrapping that hides the bomb filled with poison-dipped nails. If they’re really good and nice and loyal, they can renounce Islam, adopt any other faith or philosophy (or none) as they like so long as it doesn’t mandate the murder of Jews and destruction of the Jewish State; and they’re welcome to stay. Let’s truly embrace those who merit our embrace.
    But only a fool embraces a snake. And life doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

  • Given attitudes like these, backed by literally thousands in Arab countries, how is peace ever to be accomplished? It seems that most Arabs would rather live always at war with Jews than to recognize them as equal humans, and never recognize Israel. Bodes ill for the future.

  • len

    Just a little taste of what it will be like in Europe and the USA in a few years.Open Unrestricted immigration will give birth to Open unrestricted in your face Anti-Semitism,Jew hatred of the Masses!Just to ad-lib to a great quote from a great movie “Olympic spirit?We dont need any stinking Olympic spirit”

  • Valentina Perakh

    Any athlete that refuse to compete with any other athlete
    should be disqualify of competing in the Olympic game immediately!

  • duPont

    What a shameful response to an international event espousing “brotherhood” and respect for all nations. The Arabs never cease to amaze me in their high levels of hatred, xenophobia, religious intolerance and racism. Shame on them all. The Olympic Committee should really take a stand against this and ban those countries who practice this extremism from participating altogether. They continue to flourish and live like onions, with their heads in the sand and their feet up in the air! The height of stupidity!

  • Golum…

    They sure would love it if they were to beat the Israeli….They’re just afraid to compete!!!

  • Yadja

    Shame I thought Sisi had come so far with the Israeli embassy again in Cairo and taking out Muslim Brotherhood.

    These people are insane and they don’t belong in sports with these attitudes. If anything is shaming Islam it is their hate.

  • These Muslims that are radical should be exterminated before they exterminate us.

  • Jonathan

    The best that guy can hope for is to not be an embarrassment.
    If he competes and wins, he just did what he was supposed to do. If he competes and loses, he did what he was supposed to do, but lost to his enemy. If he doesn’t compete, he exposes himself as the cowardly dog we already know he is. And not a real dog, one of those yappy little rat dogs that run away and pee on themselves as soon as you move in their general direction.

  • Jay Lavine

    If you don’t engage in social media, then you don’t get pressured by it.

    Credit is due Egypt for its stance: not all countries would do that. In fact, some would encourage their athletes to do the opposite.

    As for this competitor, at least he’s thinking about it and not rejecting the idea of his participating out of hand. Let’s pray that he makes the right decision, and, beyond that, that he emerges from it all as a friend of his opponent and as someone who seeks better understanding of the real Israel despite what he’s been fed in the past.

  • These are The Olympic Games , these are athletes.
    And to think that with Egypt we have peace…..