In a small suburb in the Islam-dominated Jamia in Delhi, Mohammed Ameen manages to live a life which breaks norms and is still happy. . .
Football, as a game, has broken a lot of barrier in terms of religion and war. It is a well-documented fact that the Nigerian Civil War was stopped to watch Pele and his team play in the 1960s. If the game could stop a war, one can imagine its power over the other earthly, trivial matters.
Khel Now Football caught up with Mohammed Ameen, who originates from Patna but is currently staying in Delhi. Ameen is a Maulana, a person associated with formal qualification following study at a madrassa or darul uloom. Ameen comes across as a noble Muslim, who would go about his work and would lead a sedentary life in a city job.
Astonishingly, Ameen breaks the cliché. The middle-aged man is a sports coordinator for CEQUIN, an NGO which works on a variety of issues affecting women and girls such as violence, leadership, economic empowerment and other social benefits. You must be wondering that why are we writing these stories; but there’s a common link: FOOTBALL.
Football Is My Religion I Jamia I Mohammed-The Maulana Coach
Ameen trains girls in and around his area and said, “I train both the junior and senior girls equally hard. I want to see the senior girls mature in a way that they can train the next line of girls in the years to come,” says Ameen, who earns meagerly.
“Football is a team game, and the girls forget their stress while playing,” adds the gaffer. “There energy on the pitch brings a change in the community and shows a new door to the girls in the area. I’m working in the Jamia area and there are various challenges in the work I’m trying to do.”
One of them, he says, is the fact that he’s a Maulana. “People in general and parents in particular usually say that I’m a Maulana and I teach girls to play football, which adds a poor connotation to the notion. I usually stay silent, and they get my answer.”
Talking on our special segment called ‘Football is my Religion’, Ameen concludes with a brilliant message. “Football is played all around the world by white, black, men and women equally. There is no religious division in the game, and it should be that way forever. It connects people like nothing else.”