Muslims in Malaysia ban 'devilish' Manchester United shirts

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Muslims have been told by religious leaders in Malaysia to stop wearing the famous Manchester United red jersey because of the "devil" emblem on their team crest.

Manchester United Devil logo
United and the rest of the Premier League clubs are massively popular in the Muslim-majority country, but conservative religious scholars said the jersey is forbidden in Islam.

Harussani Zakaria, a cleric from northern Perak state, has said that devils should be shunned, not celebrated.

He said: "Yes of course in Islam we don't allow people to wear this sort of thing.

"Devils are our enemies, why would you put their picture on you and wear it? You are only promoting the devil."

Also off limits are the shirts of teams including Brazil, Portugal, Barcelona, Serbia and Norway, all of which carry images of the cross on their team emblems.

"There is no excuse for wearing such garments because it means, as a Muslim, you are idolising the symbol of another religion," Datuk Nooh Gadot, the Mufti of Johor, said.

"On this matter there is absolutely no compromise in the name of entertainment, fashion or even sports."

The warnings about "sinful" red devil shirts have sparked furious reactions on the many Malaysian fan sites.

"Soon, they will suggest changing the arithmetic symbols such as "+" and "x", because these symbols are not halal," commented on computer on a fans' website.

Malaysia is a generally moderate Islamic country, but conservative clerics have issued controversial edicts in the past including a ban on the ancient practice of yoga, which is criticised for including Hindu religious elements.

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