Olympic legend Mo Farah has been subjected to vicious online abuses after wishing his fans a "Merry Christmas". The incident took place days after boxing legend Amir Khan received death threats over a Christmas tree photo he shared on social media.
On 25 December, Farah shared a selfie with his 660,000 followers on Instagram. The four-time Olympic gold medal winner wore a Santa hat in the picture and used a festive filter. He also shared an adorable snap where his family wore Christmas jumpers.
However, not many were impressed with his festive fervour as some angry followers blasted the sports legend, saying "You are Muslim you can't do this."
"Is he Muslim anymore," an internet user questioned while another slammed him saying, "Shame on you Mr Mohamed."
"It's a shame to celebrate a Christmas festival as a Muslim person and it is not allowed to wear that Christmas hat," another user wrote trying to shame the 34-year-old long-distance runner, who is a practising Muslim.
Another Instagram user slammed the "Christian" festival and wrote, "The PROTHET 'SCW' said.... "most of your sins are because of your tongues, so if you have nothing nice to say ... then remain silent.! MO FARAH aren't u Muslim??? wtf is wrong with u !! just to get some funs .. right !! shame on u man."
"You are portraying pagan holiday characters... this is wrong and Allah is most merciful so please repent and remove this," another hateful comment read.
Some fans of Sir Mo, who was knighted by the Queen this year, however, jumped in to support their idol and congratulated him for bridging the religious gap. "Happy Christmas Mo Farah. Your message of peace and goodwill to people of other religions is much appreciated. I hope you enjoyed the day with your family and all the best for 2018," read one comment.
"People calling Mo out for saying Merry Xmas need to get real. Does that automatically make him Christian? If a non-Muslim was to say Eid Mubarak, like some of my non-muslim colleague, say to me, does this mean they've somehow said their shahada without you let alone them knowing about it and become Muslim," another fan defended the Olympic champion.
Farah was born in Somaliland, but later moved to the UK when he was eight and became popular as a talented athlete. He is reportedly Britain's most successful distance runner ever.