British boxing world champion Anthony Joshua has received a wave of abuse after posting a picture of himself praying in a mosque in Dubai.
Joshua, a non-Muslim, was training in Dubai when he visited a mosque in the city and posted a picture on Twitter and Instagram for his followers. The IBF heavyweight title holder has previously stated that he does not follow any religion, but has an interest in them.
The 27-year-old’s picture showed him offering prayers with two friends, with a caption that read, “Besides luck, hard work & talent.. Prayer is a solid foundation. It was nice to join my brother as he led through afternoon prayer (Asr).”
Joshua’s picture, however, was not welcomed by some and gave rise to criticism and hate comments. According to Mail Online, a man urged British Prime Minister Theresa May to deport Joshua for his faith. “Get out of my country,” he tweeted.
However, many also spoke in support of the boxer.
In an interview last year Joshua said, “Prayer is a method practised from ancient days, so it’s very important for us to maintain a spiritual connection, something that people, gladiators would do years ago, so we’re just maintaining that routine. “
“I’m not going to dig anyone for their beliefs or anything like that, but I definitely feel religion is a big part of life, whether you believe in it or not, in everyone’s day-to-day life religion’s a big part,” he had said.