The Leader of JAM lectures on soccer

The US is helping the Iraqi government face down the Sadrist militia (Jaysh al Mahdi or JAM). Dealing with the Sadr group, which is represented in the Iraqi parliament, has been a challenge to the US. There is a video of Moqtada Sadr on youtube that might help understand why the US finds it difficult to reason with the group.

In this clip Mr. Sadr argues that the hugely popular sport, soccer, is forbidden in Islam.

He states:

"Shariah forbids soccer…The West creates these things— why a grown up Muslim man runs after a ball?
Why run after a lowly target, the so-called goal?
Why not run after high and noble goals? Why not run after a path leading to God’s blessing? Israel and the Jews do you see them playing soccer like we do? Have Israel or the US won any international trophies in soccer? No! they make us indulge in soccer, smoking, singing, watching haram/forbidden satellite programs, while they turn to science.
Are they better than us? If you want to exercise, go swim or jog.
Why run after a ball, Habeebi/dear one? "


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