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“I firmly distance myself from any kind of extremism” – Antonio Rudiger defends himself amid claims from media boss

Antonio Rudiger has been in the news in recent days, after Julian Reichelt – former Editor-in-chief of BILD digital between 2017 and 2021 – accused the Real Madrid defender of making a gesture related to terrorist organisation Islamic State, also known as IS, in an Instagram post...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶

Rudiger, as well as the German Football Association (DfB), has since taken legal action against Reichelt, and now the 31-year-old has issued a statement on the matter, in which he vehemently denied any links with extremist groups, as per Relevo.

“On the occasion of the beginning of Lent, I posted a snapshot on Instagram. It has already been publicly visible for 13 days (since March 11) and has reached several million interactions without any criticism from anyone, but in recent days the photo has been used by individuals to make unfounded accusations.

“The gesture I used is called tawhid fingering. In Islam, this is considered a symbol of the unity and oneness of God. The gesture is widespread among Muslims around the world and in recent days the Federal Ministry of the Interior has classified it as non-problematic. As a devout Muslim, I practice my faith, but I firmly distance myself from any kind of extremism and accusations of Islamism. Violence and terrorism are absolutely unacceptable. I stand for peace and tolerance.”

Amid the ongoing legal case, Rudiger will look to focus his mind back onto Real Madrid matters, as he prepares to face Athletic Club this weekend with the rest of his teammates.

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Tiara Clephin

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