Welt TV channel accused of ‘inflammatory’ reporting over claims the Moroccan team used an ‘Islamic State gesture’ after its victory against Portugal
A German TV host for Welt caused outrage after accusing the Moroccan team at the Qatar World Cup of “posing with [the] Islamic State gesture” following their post-match victory against Portugal.
In the news clip, which has been shared widely on social media, three Moroccan players can be seen smiling following their historic victory over Portugal at the World Cup quarterfinals.
‘I am fascinated every day by the extent in which German racism presents itself with its coverage of the World Cup’
– Hebh Jamal, journalist
Holding a Moroccan flag between them, the players also raised their index finger, a sign Muslims have used for 1400 years that is a celebratory reminder of the oneness of God and an affirmation of faith.
Welt, one of Germany’s most popular TV channels, said the image of the Moroccan players holding their index finger to the air had caused “irritation” because it’s the “salute” the so-called Islamic State (IS) used after conquests.
The segment went on to suggest that the Muslim players were unaware of the importance of the upheld index finger.
But a German journalist Tarek Bae accused Welt of “fabricating” the connection with IS, adding that while Moroccan players know the real meaning of their faith, “racists in the world do not,” and “this inflammatory reporting around the world causes irritation”.