British-Pakistani ‘Reluctant Fundamentalist’ star Riz Ahmed says he was the victim of racist abuse from fellow England fans while cheering on the team in Brazil.
Ahmed, 31, tweeted that the abuse left him feeling un-patriotic: “I was at São Paulo stadium, edge of seat, singing Eng-er-land. Half time I get racist abuse from England fan. 2nd half, I just can’t sing it.”
The incident occurred during England’s 2-1 defeat to Uruguay on Thursday night.
The actor is no stranger to being the victim of prejudice.
In 2006, the actor starred in Michael Winterbottom’s award-winning docu-drama ‘The Road to Guantanamo’, the story of three young British Muslims who were detained for more than two years at the notorious US prison in Cuba.
Ahmed was detained and questioned for no apparent reason at Luton Airport on returning to Britain following the film’s premier at the Berlin Film Festival.
The Oxford graduate has previously spoken out about racial discrimination in his songs and speeches. In his 2006 rap ‘Post 9/11 Blues’ Ahmed sang about his personal struggles being a young Muslim man after the attacks on New York. The song was initially banned in the UK for being too “politically sensitive”.
Despite his latest unpleasant experience in Brazil though, his holiday to the biggest sporting event on the plant seems to be going well as he tweeted later: “Best thing about Brazil? Yours truly brown dude with beard can shout ingil-TERRA without causing security alerts.”