Hate preacher exiled from UK attacks British Muslim boxer

Amir Khan has been hailed a “wonderful” role model for British Muslims after being subjected to a scathing attack by an exiled radical preacher.

The champion boxer was condemned by Omar Bakri Mohammed for draping himself in the Union flag and wearing shorts bearing the symbol.

But the Muslim Council of Britain called Bakri’s comments “bizarre”.

Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary general, said: “Amir Khan is a wonderful role model.

“He’s a hugely successful boxer, proud of being Muslim and British.

“I can see why that could upset Omar Bakri, but to hundreds of thousands of British Muslims, Amir Khan is a wonderful role model.

“These comments are typical of Omar Bakri. He doesn’t live in this country and frankly his views are of no concern to British Muslims.”

Bakri, who now lives in Lebanon, told The Sun newspaper that Khan was “ignorant and deviant” for wearing the flag, which he called a sin.

He added: “Amir Khan is not a good example for Muslims.”

Yaseer Ahmed, manager at Bolton Council of Mosques, joined the condemnation of the comments.

He said: “Amir Khan is entitled to wear what he wants.

“There’s nothing wrong with expressing a British identity. The Muslim religion doesn’t stop you from being British.”

Khan, 21, from Bolton, fights Martin Kristjansen next month in his home town in a world title bout billed as “National Pride” on promotional posters.

He holds the Commonwealth lightweight title and can be seen draped in the union flag on his website.

• Muslims Back Amir After Radical’s Rant

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday March 25, 2008.
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