CAIRO – An Egyptian columnist has ignited a firestorm on social media by calling on Liverpool's star forward Mohamed Salah to shave his beard, saying he looks like a "terrorist."
In an article published Sunday by the state-run newspaper Al-Ahram, Salah Montaser said Salah should shave his beard as it "puts him in one basket with extremists.... and terrorists."
Fans criticized the article on social media, saying facial hair is a personal choice and that people shouldn't be judged on their appearance.
Salah is the Premier League's joint-top scorer, with Tottenham's Harry Kane, with 24 goals this season. He is on one of the best scoring sprees in Europe's big five leagues right now.
He is a huge celebrity in his native Egypt, which is struggling to combat an Islamic State-led insurgency.