Nuri Sahin Finally Makes Real Debut

November 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

Nuri-SahinTurkish midfielder Nuri Sahin finally took a bow with his new soccer team Real Madrid this past weekend as part of their 7-1 blowout of fellow Spanish club Osasuna. His debut was delayed by a knee injury, after having signed with the club this past summer from Borussia Dortmund. He admitted to being nervous prior to his debut, but he received a warm welcome from the crowd as he was introduced as a second-half substitute.

Sahin, who was a key figure in Dortmund’s Bundesliga title success last season, told the club’s website: “It’s been a great day for me. I wish to thank everyone at the Santiago Bernabeu, my team-mates, the manager and the president. I must now work hard to be able to help the team.

“I’m very happy for playing my first game with Real Madrid. It’s been difficult being injured. I was a little nervous before coming on because it was my first match before the fans. I felt confident and happy after a couple of minutes. We must continue to work hard because we will face difficult games after the league break.”

Real extended their lead at the top of the Primera Division of Spain’s La Liga to three points after their blowout victory, coupled with rival Barcelona’s 2-2 draw at Athletic Bilbao later in the day.

It was a big day for another Muslim footballer on Real Madrid as well, as French striker Karim Benzema scored twice. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo added a hat trick. The one negative note was the injury sustained by Angel Di Maria. The Argentina winger was forced off with what the club described as a hamstring injury, having set up all three of Real’s first-half goals.

13-46

Diouf: College Soccer Player of the Month

September 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

uconn-logoSophomore soccer player Mamadou Doudou Diouf was named the Big East Player of the Week after scoring four goals over the weekend, including a hat trick against Cal.

Diouf led UConn to a 2-0 week with a 2-1 victory over Michigan State on Thursday and a commanding 4-1 defeat of No. 7 California on Sunday. Both games were played at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs. He finished the weekend with four goals, including a hat trick against California.

Diouf opened the week with his first goal of the season against Michigan State. On Sunday, Diouf netted UConn’s first hat trick since current senior Tony Cascio registered three goals against South Florida on September 24, 2010. Diouf calmly buried two penalty kicks in the second half and scored from the run of play in the first half to make it 1-0. Diouf’s second goal of the day was the game-winning goal.

The 6’1” striker originally hails from Dakar, Senagal. After a successful freshman season with the University of Connecticut, Diouf has started his sophomore season with a bang. And all of this has been at the young age of 20, with him turning 21 on September 15th.

13-37

Electoral Verdict & Muslims’ Success!

May 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Nilofar Suhrawardy, TMO

NEW DELHI: Declaration of results to the five state assembly elections has certainly ended political suspense regarding the fate of candidates and parties engaged in the political battle. It is now imperative to analyse the results particularly in context of electoral success of Indian Muslims. Before elaborating on Muslims’ standing in this political phase, it is relevant to evaluate the overall performance of major parties in the race. Undeniably, the success of Trinamool Congress in alliance with Congress in ousting the Left bloc from power in West Bengal stands out. The Left has been pushed out of power after having headed the state government for 34 years. Trinamool Chief Mamata Bannerjee, popularly known as Didi, has been hailed in most quarters for having succeeded in this mission. Having won 184 seats in polls held in 294 constituencies, the Trinamool has emerged as a major political force in West Bengal, as it has the needed the strength to form the government with or without support from its allies, including the Congress. The Congress has won 42 seats. Credit must be given to both the Trinamool and Congress parties for having fought the elections as allies. It was sensible of Congress not to have insisted on testing its political strength in all the constituencies without reaching any political understanding with Trinamool. The Congress tried this experiment earlier in Bihar assembly elections to only fail and make it easier for its rivals – National Democratic Alliance- to return to power in state with greater success than expected.

In contrast, Congress and its key ally- Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) have failed miserably in Tamil Nadu. In polls held to 234 seats, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), led by J. Jayalalitha has won 150 seats. The DMK has secured only 23 and the Congress – five seats.

The Congress has fared well in Assam by winning 78 out of 126 seats. It is a hat trick for Congress leader Tarun Gogoi to return to power as Assam Chief Minister for the third term. Kerala has also spelt success for Congress but only with the support of its ally, Muslim League. Here, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has been pushed out of power with the Congress-coalition that is the United Democratic Front (UDF) winning 72 seats in the battle for 140. The LDF managed only 68. While the Congress has won 38 seats, the 20 secured by Muslim League have played a major role in helping UDF form the new Kerala government. The elections to 30 constituencies in Pondicherry have witnessed victory for Congress in seven, AIADMK- five, DMK – two and others – 16.

Apart from stunning defeat faced by Left in West Bengal as well as its failure in Kerala to return to power, the political loss suffered by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cannot be sidelined. The BJP has won only one seat in West Bengal, five in Assam and none in South India. The five seats won in Assam are only half of the 10 BJP had in the preceding assembly. The BJP contested more than 800 seats in the five states’ assembly elections. Undeniably, the Congress has performed better, but it cannot be missed that except for in Assam, the party has not fared too well on its own strength. The Congress has won less than 50 percent of the seats it contested. The party has tasted success in only 170 of the 359 seats it contested. 

The assembly elections are also a crucial indicator of the increasing political importance of Muslim votes as well as Muslim parties. As mentioned earlier, the UDF’s success in Kerala would not have been possible without the state Muslim League as a key ally. The reverse is the case in Assam, where Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF) – led by Maulana Badruddin Ajmal Qasmi – has emerged as the leading party in the opposition. The BJP and its ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) have lost their position as the main opposition group to AUDF, which has won 18 seats. Though, nominally, unlike Kerala’s Muslim League, AUDF has not included any religious term in its label, the party is known as a Muslim party. Despite being in the political race only for the second term, AUDF has increased in its tally from 10 in the last assembly to 18 in the new one. What is more amazing is its emergence as the leading opposition party, the second most important party (after Congress) in the Assam assembly.
The percentage of Muslims in Assam is around 31 percent. Against 25 Muslim members in the last Assam assembly, there are 28 in the new one, with 16 from AUDF. West Bengal, with Muslims constituting 28 percent of the state’s population, has elected 59 Muslims, 13 more than in the earlier assembly. Twenty-five percent of Kerala’s population are Muslims. The state has elected 36 Muslims, 11 more than earlier, to the new assembly. Muslims constitute less than 13 percent of the population in both Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. The two states have lesser Muslim members than they had in the outgoing assemblies. While Tamil Nadu has elected six members, Pondicherry has elected one, against the seven and two, both the states respectively had in the previous assemblies.
There is no denying that representation of Muslims in the five state assemblies remains below the mark it should be in keeping with their population. Nevertheless, the assembly elections indicate that their political importance and strength have definitely displayed a decisive increase in states where their population is more than 25 percent, which are West Bengal, Assam and Kerala. Interestingly, BJP’s political card has failed miserably in all the five states against the electoral verdict won by Muslim candidates as well as Muslim parties!

13-21