Could a Knighthood be on the horizon for Britain’s new sporting icon?
As Mohammed Farah surged across the finish line to win his second gold medal of the London 2012 Olympics the country went Mo-Mad in some sort of Farah-Frenzy. I’m sure I speak for many within this country when I say he has replaced Moe Sizlack, the ill-tempered bartender from The Simpsons, as everyone’s number one Mo. As he crossed the line the stadium entered hysterics and a British man who had moved here aged eight from Somalia became one of the nation’s new sporting icons. London became mo-town. Upon crossing the line victorious in the 5000m, Farah performed Sujud (bowed down on his hands and knees) to thank Allah on the running track as he did after demolishing the field in the 10,000 m.
This movement reminded the country that not only was their new sporting hero an immigrant, but he was also a devout Muslim. What a fantastic moment for British Sport, a moment where the progression of modern British identity became clear for all to see on the grandest of world stages. Multiple triumphs on the Olympic stage have often been rewarded by the Queen with a knighthood, Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Chris Hoy and Dame Kelly Holmes to name just three recipients. It is absolutely fitting that Mo Farah should be dubbed Sir Mohammed Farah in honour of his achievements over the course of the 30th Olympiad.
It is no secret that there has been a rise in extremist groups such as the ridiculous ‘English Defence League’ and their opposites ‘Muslims Against Crusades’ in this country in recent years. Fortunately their support represents a tiny minority of intolerant fools in Britain, the rest of us would applaud and say ‘well done mate’. Knighting the Mobot would not only reward Mo for his achievements but additionally symbolise the essence of modern multi-cultural Britain. The head of the Church of England bestowing one of her highest honours upon an elite young British athlete who happens to be a Muslim of Somalian decent would be a truly wonderful moment for British sport and for the nation.
Bollocks to this ‘Plastic Brit’ claptrap you read in bigoted rags like The Sun or The Daily Mail –Britain is for everyone who wants to be a part of it, contribute to it and love it. Farah’s achievement under the Union Jack Flag demonstrates a triumph of the so often derided British multi-culturalism.
In an interview following Farah’s victory in the 10,000, a reporter asked Mo if he would rather be running for Somalia– a rather ridiculous question to ask following what we had all just witnessed. It’s almost as if they were suggesting he had to be white, Christian, wearing a bowler hat and sitting on a scale model of the HMS Victory in a vat of tea to be British. Farah frowned and said in a kurt manner ‘Look mate. This is my country. OK?’ and I just thought ‘Yeah! you tell ‘em Mo!’ because it doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, brown, yellow or blue; if you’re Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jedi or any other faith; if you moved here from Somalia, Antarctica, France, Mordor or somewhere else; if you embrace Britain, Britain will embrace you back.
Well done Mo, let’s hope you receive the Knighthood you deserve.
This article has been edited to remove some badly researched assertions made in the original.