• Rudiger linked with terrorist organisation
  • Defender speaks out after claims made
  • DFB to take legal action

    WHAT HAPPENED?

    Real Madrid defender Rudiger, who is a practicing Muslim, posted a Ramadam greeting on Instagram that showed the Germany international kneeling on a prayer mat wearing a white robe and pointing upwards with his right index finger. He captioned the post: “Ramadan Mubarak to all Muslims around the world. May the almighty accept our fasting and prayers.”

    Former Bild chief Julian Reichelt described the gesture as an “Islamists’ salute” and accused Rudiger of displaying the “ISIS-greeting of Islamists” in a lengthy post on X.

    WHAT RUDIGER SAID

    Rudiger has distanced himself from the claims in a statement: “On the occasion of the beginning of Lent, I posted a snapshot on Instagram. It has already been publicly visible for 13 days [since March 11] and has reached several million interactions without any criticism from anyone, but in recent days the photo has been used by individuals to make unfounded accusations.

    “The gesture I used is called tawhid fingering. In Islam, this is considered a symbol of the unity and oneness of God. The gesture is widespread among Muslims around the world and in recent days the Federal Ministry of the Interior has classified it as non-problematic. As a devout Muslim, I practice my faith, but I firmly distance myself from any kind of extremism and accusations of Islamism. Violence and terrorism are absolutely unacceptable. I stand for peace and tolerance.”

    DFB TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION

  • GFX Antonio RudigerGetty Images / GOAL

    WHAT NEXT FOR RUDIGER

    Rudiger has been on international duty with Germany and featured in their friendly wins over France and the Netherlands. The defender will now return to Real Madrid and continue the team’s push for glory in La Liga and the Champions League, starting on Sunday against Athletic Club. — Goal

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