Islam in 2014 FIFA World Cup
Taking advantage of the media attention of the global event, Muslim organizations in Brazil are coordinating efforts to introduce the true message of Islam to millions of visitors during next year’s football world cup.
“Muslim associations are seeking to form a committee from within Brazil to introduce Islam (during the event),” Sheikh Khaled Taky El din, President of the Supreme Council of Imams and Islamic Affairs in Brazil, was quoted as saying by the Islamic news agency for Latin America (ALUKA).
Representatives of a host of Muslim organizations held a meeting Thursday, June 6, in Sao Paulo to coordinate on best ways of introducing the message of Islam during the 2014 World Cup.
The meeting included a training course for attendees on managing and organizing international events.
The meeting was held upon an invitation from the World Assembly of Muslim Youth to seize on the global event to present the true Islamic teachings to millions of visitors.
Leading among attendees were representatives the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, the Union of Islamic Associations in Brazil, Da`wah Center for Latin America and the Islamic National Entities Union.
Attendees witnessed a presentation for suggested projects to introduce Islam during the World Cup.
Participants have agreed on forming a committee to organize efforts during the world football tournament.
This committee would be entitled to prepare a worksheet for suitable and applicable projects during the World Cup.
It would also organize efforts with supporting bodies and associations from outside Brazil.
The meeting is a first positive step in efforts to show Islam’s message, culture and civilization during the tournament.
It also helps to spread awareness about true Islamic teachings across Latin America.
Hosted by Brazil for the second time, the FIFA World Cup football tournament would run from June 12 to July 13, 2014.
Twelve cities are scheduled to host matches: Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manuas, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro
Sao Paulo is set to host the opening match of the 2014 World Cup.
The meeting is not the first to be held by Brazilian Muslims to prepare for the football championship.
In March, Islamic Call (da'wah) in Brazil has called for taking advantage of the Football World Cup 2014 in order to publicize Islam among the population.
Working under the huge project of “Know Islam”, adopted by the Union of Islamic Associations in Brazil, the Islamic Call looks forward to distribute millions of printed flyers on selected topics about Islam.
They also aspire to print and distribute a million copy of the translation of the Noble Qur'an, in addition to the production of short films about Islam in Portuguese and different languages.
According to the 2001 census, there are 27,239 Muslims in Brazil.
However, the Islamic Brazilian Federation puts the number at around one and a half million.
Islam expert Paulo Pinto of Fuminense Federal University estimated Brazil is home to about a million Muslims.
With no confirmed number of Muslims, the best indicator of the growth of Islam in the country is the rapid increase in the number of mosques.
There are now 127 mosques, four times as many as there were back in 2000.