YouTube removes soccer song by Israeli far-right fans insulting Prophet Muhammad

Clip taken down after Israeli Arab MK Ayman Odeh complains about song posted by hardline La Familia fans of Beitar Jerusalem club, which has a history of racism

Illustrative: Police arrest La Familia soccer hooligans at the First Station in Jerusalem on July 30, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Illustrative: Police arrest La Familia soccer hooligans at the First Station in Jerusalem on July 30, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Leading Arab-Israeli politician Ayman Odeh on Wednesday demanded a “racist” song by far-right Israeli soccer fans insulting the Prophet Muhammed posted on YouTube be removed. The social media giant later took down the clip from its platform.

Sung by the hardline “La Familia” fans of Israel’s Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, the Hebrew-language song insults the prophet, questioning his status and the origins of his mother.

“Any offense against a religious symbol is totally unacceptable,” said Odeh, head of the mostly Arab Joint List party.

“‘La Familia’ is a racist group… and in a truly democratic state this terrorist group would have been banned for a long time,” he added.

Joint List leader Ayman Odeh speaks to reporters outside his home in Haifa on March 3, 2020. (Flash90)

Odeh said he had written to YouTube to demand the withdrawal of the song, which has been online since July 2016 but has only recently become “popular.”

Beitar Jerusalem has historically been considered anti-Muslim and anti-Arab.

But it has been working to change its image in recent years, and in 2017 received an award for its fight against racism.

Odeh’s appeal comes amid a wider surge in anger among Muslim communities across the world in reaction to French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent defense of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed.

Hamas supporters burn pictures of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest against the publishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in front of the French Cultural center in Gaza City, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Macron robustly supported the right to mock religion following the murder of a French schoolteacher who had shown his pupils cartoons of the prophet.

Protesters in the Gaza Strip have burned photographs of Macron, while in the mainly Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, some grocery stores have boycotted French goods.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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