Israel has faced discrimination at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby refused to boycott his match against Israeli judoja Or Sasson.

One of the fears of anti-Israel social media, which demanded a boycott, was that El Shehaby would lose, and thereby not only normalize Israel’s participation but humiliate the Muslim world.

El Shehaby lost.

Egypt Israel Judoka

Perhaps fearing the internet reaction, Shehaby refused to shake Sasson’s hand afterwards.

Muslims pressured Shehaby to boycott:

“You will shame Islam,” wrote one angry follower. “If you lose, you will shame an entire nation and yourself. We don’t want to think what will happen if you lost to an Israeli. Victory will give you nothing. How can you cooperate with a murderous nation?”

Shehaby has expressed anti-Israel views in the past, but the Egyptian Olympic Committee demanded he go through the match. They even threatened to revoke his Egyptian citizenship.

Most people on social media blasted Shehaby for not shaking Sasson’s hand.

But a few showed satisfaction with his decision:

Translation: Masri declined Israeli handshake. Allahu Akbar. Islam triumphed with it.


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