April 16, 2007, - 10:45 am
By Debbie Schlussel
When you allow yourself to be the house slave, that’s exactly how you’ll be treated.
That’s the experience of Leonard Mucheru a/k/a “Mushir Salem Jawher”–a world-class Catholic marathoner from Kenya–who sold himself and his religious status to Bahrain. Now, his life has been turned upside down because he dared to go to Israel in January and win the country’s Tiberias Marathon. (As readers of this site know, I’ve written repeatedly–including here and here–about the anti-Semitic sports and travel apartheid regularly practiced by the Islamic World.)
It’s a phenomenon I’ve been following for years: Arab Muslim countries, whose native Muslim Arab inhabitants suck at all sports (except bomb-detonating and molotov-tossing), buy Black athletes from Africa. They make them convert to Islam, change their names, and the athletes then make Muslim countries–mostly Gulf States–into fake athletic powerhouses.
Today’s Wall Street Journal–which has a front-page story on Mucheru/Jawher–reports this new form of Islamic slavery of athletes as a relatively new phenomenon, but it isn’t. It’s been going on for years. Still, the article is otherwise important, as it further highlights the anti-Semitic sports apartheid regularly practiced by our Islamic “allies,” like the “moderate” Bahrain, which features the enlightened “Bahrain Society for Resisting Normalization With the Zionist Enemy.” One wonders what the hazing is for initiation into that exclusive “club.”
Here are the notable excerpts:
MANAMA, Bahrain — Leonard Mucheru, a world-class long-distance runner from Kenya, agreed four years ago to change his name and his nationality in order to take a prized job: a place on the national athletics squad of this tiny Gulf kingdom.
A churchgoing Roman Catholic, he began competing under a new Arab-Islamic identity as Mushir Salim Jawher, to “improve my career,” he says.
At the Asian Games in December, the 28-year-old won a silver medal for his new country in the 5,000-meter race. He finished just ahead of a Burundi-born athlete running for Qatar and behind a fellow Kenyan, who won gold for Qatar, which hosted the event.
The unusual trifecta for a region not generally known for its sporting prowess highlighted a quirky feature of the global economy: Wealthy Gulf states, long conspicuous consumers of fast cars, have become a big market for another status symbol — Africans who run fast.
But winning isn’t everything, as Mr. Mucheru has discovered. He has spent the past three months on the run from accusations of betraying both Arab solidarity and African pride. “I’m not a criminal. I didn’t kill anyone or steal anything,” he says. “All I did was run.” [DS: In the Evil Zionist Entity.]
His ordeal began in early January after he added what he thought would be another feather in Bahrain’s sporting cap: He won an international marathon [DS: the Tiberias Marathon], a first by an athlete representing Bahrain. He beat out a Kenyan in a sprint finish. The catch is that the race took place in Israel, which the Arab kingdom shuns.
Bahrain went ballistic. The Bahrain Athletics Association, headed by a member of the royal family, issued an angry statement saying Mr. Mucheru would be kicked off the team and stripped of Bahraini nationality.
Bahrain’s Society for Resisting Normalization With the Zionist Enemy denounced Mr. Mucheru as a national disgrace.
“We are in this business to give Bahrain a good name, not a bad name,” said Sheik Talal al-Khalifa, president of the Bahrain Athletics Association [DS: Khalifa is a member of Bahrain’s ruling royal family]. Mr. Mucheru’s trip to Israel, said the sheik, “was a big embarrassment for us, and we are not going to take that.”
The furor flowed from an increasingly common dynamic in this part of the world: the tension between the grand global ambitions of Gulf kingdoms and their conservative local moorings.
“Conservative local moorings”? This is how a Wall Street Journal reporter–Andrew Higgins–describes blatant apartheid-esque, anti-Semitism and extremism?! Incredible.
Bahrain has a state-of-the-art racetrack to host Formula One auto racing, but in deference to Islam sprays the winner with rose water instead of champagne. Abu Dhabi, the richest part of the United Arab Emirates, this year signed a deal with the Louvre in Paris to rent art treasures for a new museum. The arrangement raised a ticklish question: Will Abu Dhabi, a devout Muslim land, hang paintings that feature nudes or Christian motifs? The Louvre contract stipulates that works of art won’t be banished on “unreasonable” grounds.
Before the African runners, the biggest sporting imports to the Gulf were camel jockeys, mostly impoverished children from the Indian subcontinent. This trade has waned since Qatar and the U.A.E. raised the minimum age for camel jockeys to 18, under pressure from the U.S. and human-rights groups.
Uh, actually, the camel jockey trade of underage Muslim slaves continues. Most of these kids are young Bangladeshis (fellow Muslims)–some as young as 10-years-old–who are forced to be camel jockeys, are not allowed to eat (good jockeys need to be small and underweight), and are often the sex-slaves of wealthy Bahraini Muslims.
The deep pockets of Gulf nations have turbocharged the market. Mr. Mucheru, who was put on the payroll of Bahrain’s military, declined to discuss his salary, saying only that he earned more than he did in Kenya. More than 40 Kenyan athletes have decamped in recent years, many to Bahrain and Qatar. . . . “We have to avoid a situation where athletes are being bought like mercenaries,” says Nick Davies, an IAAF official.
FYI, the IAAF made rules forcing athletes who change nationalities to sit out three years. But the IAAF refuses to outlaw the anti-Semitic marathon (and other sports) apartheid practiced by the Muslim member nations of the IAAF.
Though lagging far behind sporting powers like China, which has more than a billion people, Qatar and Bahrain ranked ninth and 14th respectively out of 36 nations in the December Asian Games — not bad for countries with a combined population of barely 1.5 million. To celebrate, Bahrain’s crown prince invited Mr. Mucheru and his fellow medal-winning runners — more than half of them from Africa — to his palace.
Wow, the house-slaves get to go see the Master and visit the main mansion on the plantation.
So, when Mr. Mucheru went to Israel and beat 850 other competitors in the Tiberias Marathon around the Sea of Galilee, he figured that would only win kudos in Bahrain. After the race, he told the Jerusalem Post that he was “very proud” to be the first Arab national to compete in the event and hoped “to come back and compete next year.” Elated, he flew back to Kenya to be with his family.
He first realized there was a problem when he started getting calls on his mobile phone during a church service.
Gee, and I thought he’d converted to Islam. Silly me.
Kenyan journalists wanted to get his reaction to Bahrain’s decision to revoke his passport. “I had no idea Israel was such a big deal,” he says.
He turned off his phone and went into hiding. His German manager and coach, Dorothee Paulmann, called the athletic governing body in Monaco for help but was told there was not much it could do.
Uh, no. There was not much it wanted to do. The IAAF, which governs international marathons, does not want to outlaw the Muslim world’s travel-apartheid against Israel.
After a series of abject apologies and promises not to run in Israel again, he awaited news of his fate.
“I now know I made a big mistake,” he said in an interview at a small apartment where he had taken refuge in late January not far from a big U.S. naval base here. He kept the curtains drawn and rarely ventured outside.
In late January, Bahrain partially relented: He could keep his passport, sports officials told him, but his banishment from the national squad stood. Mr. Mucheru then flew back to Africa, where he and other defector athletes still do much of their training. It’s way too hot in the Gulf for running. . . .
His coach, Ms. Paulmann, isn’t amused. Gulf countries, she says, “have money and oil. But they have no idea about sport.”
Uh, actually, the Gulf States have exactly the right idea about sport. They know that they can outlaw passports and passport stamps from Israel and keep out Israeli athletes–like tennis player Shahar Peer–from all internationally sanctioned tennis tournaments, marathons, and everything else.
And that they will get away with it . . . without a peep from anyone. Apartheid lives on for all those who oppose the Jewish State.
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