CAIRO – Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez Balcazar has expressed admiration of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).
“I’m not a Muslim, but the best person from my view is Prophet Muhammad,” Balcazar, who goes by the nickname Chicharito, wrote on his Twitter account.
Prophet Muhammad has been the center of attacks by far-right groups in the United States and Europe.
In September 2012, protests swept the Muslim world following a US-made film defaming Prophet Muhammad.
Titled “Innocence of Muslims”, the movie, produced by an American-Israeli real estate developer, portrays the Prophet as a fool, philanderer and a religious fake.
The film was posted on YouTube in June but drew attention when an Egyptian-American Copt produced a trailer in an Arabic-language blog post and e-mail newsletter publicizing the movie.
Scores of people were killed in protests against the film, including the US ambassador to Libya.
The movie, which drew attention after an Egyptian-American Copt produced an Arabic-language trailer, was promoted by US pastor Terry Jones, who angered Muslims in 2010 with plans to burn the Noble Qur’an.
Jones called the film a “satirical” movie on the life of the Muslim Prophet, saying he showed a promotional video trailer after staging a symbolic “trial” of the Prophet.
Adding to the Muslim anger, a French magazine also published inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet on claims of freedom of expression.
Chicharito is the first Mexican player to play for the English Premier League giant Manchester United.
Playing for the Mexican national team in 2009, he played at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
He was the Gold Cup’s top scorer with 7 goals and was named the most valuable player of the tournament.