Originally published in Global Voices
In early June, in Denmark, priests and imams challenged each other over a game of soccer. But besides sports and fun, this day had another, more serious purpose to it – to defy the media picture and show that Danes are perfectly able to coexist despite cultural and religious differences.
BY MASIH SADAT
It was a Saturday mid-afternoon and the sun’s heat warmed the soccer fields in one of Copenhagen’s sport arenas. Families and friends across gender, age, religious and ethnic divides had come together and placed themselves on the sidelines, ready to act as cheering squads. From the stands, youngsters yelled “imaaams,” while other spectators clapped, rooted and drummed for the sweaty players out on the field.
If the fans were typical, the teams were anything but. On both sides of the field were religious leaders, wearing soccer shoes and ready to play. On one side were Danish priests in blue jerseys, and on the other side Danish imams in red. Both had put aside their religious uniforms and holy books for a while to focus on one thing – the ball.
One goal, one society
The match was arranged by the organization, One Goal, One Society, recently founded by Nora Omari and Mikkel Lind. Beyond soccer, fun and heat, these two had something more serious on the agenda.
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