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Morocco’s World Cup Victory is a Celebration for the Muslim World

As Morocco celebrates a historic World Cup win that takes them to the quarterfinals, the Muslim world echoes cheers of a momentous occasion that means much more than a soccer triumph.

Scenes of the Moroccan players prostrating on the ground and waving the Palestinian flag are flooding social media platforms, bringing tears of pride and joy to Muslims around the world.

With fans from all over the globe celebrating this victory, Morocco has become a telling example of how countries ranked outside of FIFA’s top 20 nations can achieve success by dominating even the strongest and most recognized soccer teams in the world.

Morocco’s victory over Spain ignited a sense of pride that united Muslims in both Arab and non-Arab nations. This sentiment was especially pronounced for Muslims in the West, given that 14 out of the 26 total team members of the Moroccan team were born overseas, but chose to play for their native country in the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Achraf Hakimi, the winning penalty taker for the Moroccan team, was born in Spain, but chose to play for his native country in the World Cup and continues to pay tribute to his Moroccan heritage. Similarly, Sofiane Boufal, another player in the Moroccan national team, was born in France. Hakim Ziyech, one of the strongest players in the team, was born in the Netherlands.

The national pride sensed by Moroccans for the victory of their team was also shared by Muslims globally, who reveled in the fact that Morocco prevented the usual carve-up between Europe and South America in the tournament. As the first Muslim nation to advance to the last eight of the World Cup, Morocco effectively became a representative of the Muslim world in the international competition, a victory that Muslims will never forget.

As the Atlas Lions of Morocco beat Spain, the victory was felt even more strongly for Moroccans who remember Spain’s rule over Morocco during the colonial era. In this way, Morocco’s win sparked deeper sentiments among the Arab and Muslim world and served as a symbol of the comeback of previously colonized nations into the international spotlight.

This representation was felt deeply as the Palestinian flag was raised multiple times by Arab teams in the tournament, and as people of nations around the world expressed vocal support for Palestine throughout the World Cup experience.

This sense of united support for the Palestinian cause was seen as an inspiration to many and showcased a rare moment of international representation for a nation that has been silenced and systematically marginalized by the Western world for decades.

As Moroccan players celebrated their well-deserved win against Spain, Muslims watched with pride as the Moroccan national team with members from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands raised the flag of Palestine to conclude its victory.

The world watched as chants for a “Free Palestine” filled the streets and stadiums of Qatar, giving the people of Palestine a platform to broadcast their voices in this year’s World Cup.


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  • Sarah Katib

    Sarah Katib is a multi-platform journalist who specializes in writing and research on international affairs, contemporary social issues, and Muslim identity in the West.

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