Muslims, Soccer, and the Politics of National Identity
thesisposted on 08.06.2021, 08:07 by Arwa Aulaqi
Athletes are among the most visible representatives of nations: the nations’ traditions, histories, values, and identities are condensed into the body of performing athlete, who act as ambassadors for their country each time they set foot on the field. However, when we think of athletes today that embody the nations’ identity, how many of these athletes do we come up with of immigrant or minority background? How many do we come up with that are Muslim? These questions predominantly depend on what countries and which sports we examine. In this MRP, I focus on soccer, and the participation of Muslims in this sport. Using a discourse analysis methodology, studying newspaper sources and theories of national identities, I examine the place of Muslims in the West today, and how their participation in soccer is viewed within the context of on-going evolution of national identities, and, most importantly, whether it is viewed as proof or not of their membership in the nation.