The Christmas tree controversy is refusing to let go of Amir Khan. After being at the centre of a debate triggered when he displayed his love for his three-year-old daughter by putting up a surprise Christmas tree, the boxer has now received scary death threats.
The huge debate began soon after the boxer shared images of the Christmas tree on Instagram on 19 December. "While everyone's asleep, daddy put the Christmas tree up. Lamaisah's going to be happy," Khan captioned the images of the decorated tree at his home.
Some of his followers criticised the action, calling it "not Islamic." However, within a day the debate grew more aggressive with some issuing threats to Khan, who is a practising Muslim.
"You must be dead and your family will be dead i promise and allah must promise i and allah see you and check you your angel death came too see you," an Instagram user wrote.
While another wrote the boxer was fortunate to have been living in the UK and not Pakistan where Islamist jihadists recently killed many Christians. "Amir Khan lucky to be in UK, 1 week back, suicide bombing at Pakistani church killed 9 Pakistani Christians because they displayed Christmas trees," the comment read.
The 31-year-old athlete's family belongs to Pakistan and not many of his fans from the country were happy about Khan's sweet Christmas gesture for his daughter.
One internet user slammed him saying, "Prophet Muhammad (SWAW) said the Muslim's should not imitate the kuffar." Kuffar , a highly derogatory Arabic term, refers to non-Muslims.
Another follower criticised the former I'm A Celebrity participant saying, "Those who know Islam and know the importance of Allah and whole heartily accept his message will not put a tree in their house." A third one added, "not liking the tree the prophet (pbuh) sed not to follow others traditions and beliefs it's haram."
Many of his Pakistani fans also wrote that he ceases to be their role model after posting the Christmas tree images.
The boxer was recently in the limelight as a participant of the jungle-themed reality show, I'm A Celebrity. Despite his constant antics, he could not manage to win the show. However, following his eviction from the show, he left an inspiring message for his followers, urging them to work hard to achieve their dreams.
"My message is if you want to achieve anything in life you have to work for it. When I was at the age of eight I didn't go out with my friends. My friends would go out on holidays and I would stay home. I would live in the gym. If you want to achieve anything in life you have to put hard work into it."