Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In a recent interview, Team India’s veteran pacer Mohammed Shami remarked that chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ or ‘Allahu Akbar’ a thousand times poses no harm, as it ultimately makes no distinction.

“In every religion, you will come across five to ten people who won’t like the person from the opposite religion. I don’t have any objection against it,” said Shami in the interview.

“Like how the topic of Sajda came up… If Ram Mandir is being built, then what’s the problem in saying Jai Shri Ram… say it 1000 times. If I want to say Allahu Akbar then I will say it 1000 times… what difference does it make?” the veteran pacer added.

Shami also criticised those who expressed reluctance to perform Sajdah after taking a wicket during India’s World Cup triumph against Sri Lanka in the ODI World Cup.

“I’m not afraid of anyone when it comes to this. I am a Muslim, and I have said this before, I am proud of being one. And I am a proud Indian too. For me, the country comes first. If these things bother someone, I don’t care. I live happily, and I represent my country, nothing matters more to me. As far as the controversies are concerned, those who only live to play these games on social media, I don’t care about them. As far as Sajdah is concerned, if I wanted to do it, I would have. It shouldn’t concern anyone else,” said Shami.

Notably, the 33-year-old pacer is currently recuperating from a heel injury.