This year, the start of Ramadan will likely coincide with the fiercest phase of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. On or near June 28th, a real Hunger Games will begin for Muslim players. But where do millions of football fans turn for guidance on “fair play” during the competition?
A bearded mascot called Salaminho is ready to lend a hand! He stars in a free guide that offers tips to visitors on how to observe Islam while in Brazil. It’s one of several initiatives produced by Brazil’s Federation of Muslim Associations (FAMBRAS) to “help dispel prejudice and ignorance of Islam”, according to FAMBRAS vice president, Ali Hussein El Zoghbi, .
Their “Salam Brazil” project caps 3 years of work under the auspices of Brazil’s Supreme Council of Imams and Islamic Affairs. FAMBRAS will hand out 65,000 copies of their Muslim Fan Guide which details prayer times, mosque locations in host cities, emergency services, and venue details.
The Muslim population is a fraction of Brazil’s estimated 202 million people, but is growing from an influx of refugees from Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.
Over 50,000 Muslim fans are expected to visit, mainly from Iran, Nigeria and Algeria, also from the US, UK, Malaysia and the Gulf. FAMBRAS sees this as a fantastic chance to spread the positive word of Islam to non-Muslims.
*This excerpt of an article was originally published on albawaba on 22 June 2014. Read the original article here.