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Muslim Athlete Slams Pub for Using His Photo to Promote Alcohol

A Muslim runner said he was extremely offended by a pub advertisement which used his London Marathon image to promote a free drink offer for runners, saying alcohol is prohibited in Islam.

“URGENT request to please remove this post and the one on your Instagram page,” Coventry runner Haroon Mota wrote on Twitter.

“It is forbidden for Muslims to drink alcohol. Using my face to promote alcohol is extremely offensive & inconsiderate.”

📚 Read Also: Premier League Muslim Athletes’ Charter Launched

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Haroon, a practicing Muslim, is the founder of the Active Inclusion Network, ‘Championing Diversity in Outdoors & Fitness’.

The Bedford in Balham, south London, used a picture of Haroon with his 2021 London Marathon medal in a social media promotion to entice participants in yesterday’s event, Coventry Telegraph.

Haroon’s tweet has attracted a lot of sympathy and further condemnation of the pub including the London Marathon’s official account which slammed the pub for using its own copyrighted picture without consent.

“We own this photograph and have not given you permission to use it in your marketing,” London Marathon said. “We ask that you remove this post and any like it. Thank you.”

The pub then removed the photo, offering an apology, but after the damage has been already done, according to Haroon.

“They’ve deleted the posts but the damage is done. I’ve had people calling me asking why I’m doing adverts for pubs, promoting alcohol! Why am I even having to explain myself!?” he wrote on Twitter.

Alcohol & Athletes

Islam takes an uncompromising stand in prohibiting intoxicants. It forbids Muslims from drinking or even selling alcohol.

The general rule in Islam is that any beverage that gets people intoxicated when taken is unlawful, both in small and large quantities, whether it is alcohol, drugs, fermented raisin drink or something else.

Alcohol celebrations or beer promotions are part of the occasions many Muslim players have been forced to deal with over the past years.

There have been instances where some Muslim players vehemently opposed being dragged into such things they believe contravene their religious belief.

In a historic move, the first of its kind, Muslim athletes charter was launched in June, 2022, to “challenge organizations” to make progress in supporting Muslim sportsmen and women.

The charter includes 10 points such as non-consumption of alcohol, including during celebrations, the provision of appropriate places to pray, halal food, and being allowed to fast in Ramadan.