14 Real Madrid fans are dead – slaughtered at the headquarters of a Real Madrid supporters club in Iraq.
Their crime? Liking football.
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) May 13, 2016
Three gunmen armed with AK-47s burst into the Al Furat cafe in Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad, and opened fire.
ISIS claimed later responsibility for the attack, which killed 16 and wounded another 28. Most of the casualties were Real Madrid supporters but cafe staff and other customers were killed and wounded as well.
The intended victims were members of 4,191 member strong Real Madrid supporters group who meet for coffee and watch classic Real Madrid games when live games aren’t on.
This atrocity was committed in the name of religion but notion that soccer is anti-Muslim is ludicrous. Soccer fan “OWNIJ”, who is also Muslim, denounced the attacks:
“SPEAKING AS A MUSLIM WHO DOES A LOT OF READING AND DEBATE IN HIS SPARE TIME, FOOTBALL BEING ANTI ISLAM IS ALMOST COMICAL. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY ZERO JUSTIFICATION FOR THIS.”
“MOSQUES AROUND THE WORLD FROM EVERY DENOMINATION WILL HOLD FOOTBALL AND SPORTING TOURNAMENTS REGULARLY AND MOSQUES IN THE TIME OF THE PROPHET HELD WRESTLING TOURNAMENTS AMONGST OTHER THINGS.”
“IT IS SO ABSURD THAT IT TRULY BOGGLES THE MIND.”
“THE ONLY THING I COULD POSSIBLY THINK OF IS THAT ISIS FEELS IT DISTRACTS FROM THEIR OWN GOALS AND SINCE ISIS IS THE ARBITER OF RELIGION FOR THEM, IT IS ‘ANTI-ISLAM’.”
“ISIS THEN DOES WHAT IT ALWAYS DOES AND CLEANSES WHAT IT DEEMS ‘UNDESIRABLE’. UTTERLY SICKENING.”
OWNIJ, Muslim soccer fan
This story is equal parts tragic and rage-inducing.
These were people who just wanted to get together, have fun, and watch soccer. And they were killed for it.
There’s no place in the world for this.