I was reading about South African batsman Hashim Amla. He is a Muslim and a Test cricketer for South Africa, and one of their rising stars. This year his performance for the national team has been outstanding.
In a story where he condemned the Mumbai attacks, I also read this:
More so because while his teammates have a beer sponsor blazed across their clothing, Amla does not.Now this is truly inspiring, if only in a simple way.
"It's nothing new. Since I made my debut in 2004 it was an issue then but fortunately South Africa is a country that is very understanding," he said before training this week. "We do come from a difficult past with racial prejudices.
"So our country is very much accepting to differences. I put in the request to the United Cricket Board at the time. They accepted and the sponsors were very accommodating as well. For me the issue is dead and buried with the team and the South African people." [Source: Fox Sports | Rediff]
I know most people, myself included, if offered a position on the national team of your country for the sport you love, would not have objected to a beer's name on your T-shirt.
It's just a name, right?
I mean, we are not drinking the beer?
Amla, however, had stuck to his ideals, and Allah made the rest easy. He did not shy from taking the difficult first step and writing that request to abstain. Maybe the South African cricket board could have refused his request. But he tried. And so he succeeded.
I salute Hashim Amla for this.