Pakistan Minister Compares Sports with Religion; Calls Cricket T20 Win Against India a 'Victory of Islam'

After India lost to Pakistan by 10 wickets in their opening match of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday, Pakistan's Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said the nation's win against India was a "victory for Islam". He said all Muslims of the world including Indian Muslims were backing his nation during the match.

Rasheed Makes Shocking Claim after Pakistan's Victory

"Pakistan's triumph against India is a victory of Islam. All Muslims throughout the world are rejoicing," he said in a video message on Twitter. He congratulated the entire Islamic world for the win. The video soon went viral on social media triggering various reactions. Many social media users felt the minister shouldn't compare sports with religion.

"The Pakistani team had the emotional support of all Muslims of the world, including Muslims of India. This is the victory of the Muslim world. Pakistan Zindabad. Islam Zindabad," Rasheed said.

Pakistan's First Victory Against India at the T20 World Cup

His remarks come after Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam's remarkable victory. Pakistan defeated India by 10 wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Captain Azam and opening partner Rizwan helped Pakistan chase down a target of 152 without losing a wicket after the bowlers led by Shaheen Afridi limited India to 151/7.

This win was Pakistan's first-ever by a ten-wicket margin in men's T20Is and the first such defeat for India in this format. Pakistan became only the fourth team to win a men's T20 World Cup game by ten wickets.

Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad
Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad Twitter

Prior to the match, Rashid stated that the high-voltage clash against India was the true T20 World Cup final for Pakistan. He expressed best wishes for the Pakistan cricket team ahead of the thriller match between the arch-rivals.

"Today's match has a different level of excitement than any previous match in the World Cup," he said, praying for Pakistan's triumph.

Rasheed's Anti-India Comments

Sheikh Rasheed often sparks controversies and is known for his anti-India and anti-Hindu views. He threatened India in 2020 with nuclear war, saying the weapons will be such that they will save the Indian Muslims during the attack.

In February 2019, Rasheed went on a communal rant against India and Hindus, threatening a nuclear war. He also announced that no bells would sound in Hindu temples. This was barely an hour after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan went on record to absolve his country of any involvement in the deadly Pulwama terror attack.

"If anyone will stare at Pakistan with an evil eye, his eye will be gouged out, and then no grass will grow, no birds will chirp, and no bells will sound in temples, as Pakistan is that bastion of Muslims that Muslims from the world over look up to," said the minister.

This article was first published on October 25, 2021