Idrissa Gueye is a Senegalese-Muslim professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for one of the most iconic French clubs, the Paris Saint-Germain or PSG.
Recently he came under fire for refusing to bend the knee to the LGBTQ religion.
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye has been ordered by the French football federation’s ethics board to answer accusations he missed a game to avoid wearing a rainbow jersey in support of the LGBTQI+ movement.
The Senegal international was absent for Saturday’s 4-0 win over Montpellier in Ligue 1 for “personal reasons” rather than injury, according to coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Gueye must “issue a public apology” or say the rumours he refused to take part in French football‘s fight against homophobia are “unfounded”, according to a letter seen Wednesday by AFP addressed to the player.
He also missed a match last year on a day dedicated to raising awareness against discrimination.
French media is naturally having a go at the “homophobic” footballer, while reactions from home were the exact opposite, gaining not only popular support but also an explicit approval from Senegal’s president himself, Macky Sall, who said that Idrissa’s religious beliefs should be respected.
As usual, let’s go beyond the “news.”
Why Sports Push For LGBTQ+ Activism
Sports is one of the most cosmetic windows of the neoliberal globalization.
It’s because sports is seemingly universal – all civilizations and even communities have practiced a form or the other of competitive physical activity – so the appeal is universal.
So if sports are manipulated for an ideological aim, this would have a huge reach into global society.
And this is why the LGBTQ+ lobby targets sports in particular: Through sports it can disseminate its agenda virtually all over the world, including social groups which have been hitherto impermeable to infiltration.
For instance, the adolescent in the Arab world who might otherwise be repulsed by the LGBTQ+ crusade might perhaps change his mind after seeing his favorite footballing idol (they are idols) running with a rainbow flag.
This is subtle social engineering, a way of influencing the psychology of resisting communities without appearing overtly militant.
Senegal, Yet Another Land of Islam Wounded by France
Idrissa Gueye being Senegalese, it is relevant to mention some notes about Senegal and its history with Islam.
One of the best books on Islam in Africa, where the author shows Islam’s intellectual and cultural vitality, is Rudolph Ware’s The Walking Qur’an: Islamic Education, Embodied Knowledge, and History in West Africa.
As he says in the introduction to the book (p. 9), this work actually concerns a particular sub-region of West Africa called Senegambia, which mainly comprises two countries in their entirety (others only parts): Senegal and The Gambia.
In terms of ethnicity and religion, The Gambia is similar to Senegal, both having ethnic groups such as the Fulanis, the Wolof, and so on, and both countries being 90-95% Muslim. Senegal has a population of 15 million while that of The Gambia is at 2 million. The language of Senegal is French while English is the primary language in The Gambia.
Ware calls “The Walking Qur’an” the typical scholar of West Africa (thus including Senegal), who basically “embodied” the scriptures in both theoretical and practical ways.
He writes in p. 79:
This term strongly links teachers with the spread of Islam; its primary meaning is “evangelist.” In modern Arabic, this word refers mainly to Christian proselytizers, but historically (in West Africa at least), it was firmly tied to Muslim teaching and missionary activity. This seems entirely fitting, since its singular form, al-bashīr, is one of the praise names for the Prophet Muḥammad, the embodied archetype of all Islamic teaching and preaching.
The original Walking Qurʾan—the role model for the clerisy—was not only the exemplar of teaching and preaching but also the embodiment of spiritual leadership, supernatural power, and even healing ability. All of these facets of religious authority came to be embodied within the clerical lineages of West Africa, and all were tied to the Qurʾan. Nearly all clerics taught the Book for all or part of their lives. Some also taught exoteric worldly sciences such as mathematics, astronomy, or, more rarely, history or medicine. But nearly all also employed esoteric sciences, drawing on their literacy and their spiritual power as carriers of God’s verbatim speech.
This was thus a holistic society, rooted in both the Islamic and the rational sciences, as all pre-modern Islamic societies in Africa and Asia were. This was the case until the French decided to impose their “enlightened” values, beginning in the 1810s after displacing their English cousins (p. 148).
More precisely, French colonial rule was imposed by general Louis Faidherbe, the Senegalese city of Saint-Louis being named after him (it remained the country’s main city for centuries until Dakar became the capital).