Former German Pro Footballer Turned Jihadi Killed In Syria

Most kids can only dream of being a professional footballer and hitting the big time. German Muslim Burak Karan had the chance to live that dream. A German youth international and playing for big Bundesliga clubs Karan had the world at his feet. It wasn’t injury or lack of chances to shine that halted his career that had seen him represent Germany at u17 and u19. His downfall was allowing militant Islam to get in his head and take control of it .

Throwing away a promising career and being paid very well for something you enjoy to become a jihadi and die fighting for Allah. Tragic. Instead of making a name for himself in the world of football. The only name he made was that of an extremist fool .Who blew all he had going for him to become just another statistic in the dead as a result of Islam column. 

Former German footballer Burak Karan was killed in Syria (YouTube) Germany has been shocked by the death of a former young and promising footballer, who was reportedly killed in the Syrian civil war after quitting football for jihad.  Burak Karan, 26, was killed during a bombing by government forces in the town of Azaz, near the Turkish border in October.  A few years ago he was playing football alongside some of Germany's current brightest football stars, including Real Madrid's Sami Khedira and Schalke 04's Kevin-Prince Boateng.

German ‘Jihadi’ Footballer Burak Karan Killed in Syria

By UMBERTO BACCHI : Subscribe to Umberto’s RSS feed | November 18, 2013 3:36 PM GMT

Former German footballer Burak Karan was killed in Syria (YouTube)
Germany has been shocked by the death of a former young and promising footballer, who was reportedly killed in the Syrian civil war after quitting football for jihad.

Burak Karan, 26, was killed during a bombing by government forces in the town of Azaz, near the Turkish border in October.

A few years ago he was playing football alongside some of Germany’s current brightest football stars, including Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira and Schalke 04’s Kevin-Prince Boateng.

The son of Turkish immigrants, Karan, grew up in Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia, in industrial north western Germany.

A talented fullback, he played in the youth team of several Germany’s Bundesliga clubs, such as Hamburg and Hannover 96.

Karan eventually made his way up to the national team, collecting a few caps for the U17 and U16 sides.

However football money and fame were not appealing to the young Muslim man.

“Money and a career were not important to him,” his brother Mustafa told Bildnewspaper.

Marcus Olm, his former coach at Hannover 96 said Karan was deeply religious and used to pray five-times a day in accordance to the teachings of Islam.

“No matter if we were training or on an away trip, five times a day he retired and prayed towards Mecca,” Olm told Die Welt newspaper. “He was also a cheerful guy, one with who it was easy to have fun.”

Karan began searching the internet for videos from warzones and ways to “help his [Muslim] brothers”, his brother said.

“He was confused, and filled with sadness for the victims,” Mustafa Karan said.

In 2008, aged 20, Karan quitted football and became more deeply involved in religion.

He started to hang out with a group of radical Islamists who gravitated around Wuppertal’s mosque.

Among them was Emrah Erdogan, a German national of Turkish origin, who was arrested earlier this year in Tanzania in relation to the deadly terrorist attack at a shopping centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

As Karan became more radicalised, German authorities added his name to a watch list.

In 2013 he arrived in Syria where he was later joined by his 23-year-old wife and two children, aged three and 10 months.

A YouTube video praising the rebellion against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, which was posted after Karan’s death, shows photos of the former footballer sporting a long beard and holding a rifle.

“He had to leave his home to fight the injustice of Bashar al-Assad,” the caption read. “May Allah accept him and protect his wife, children and family.”

Mustafa Karan denied his brother had gone to Syria as a jihadi fighter but maintained he was carrying out charitable activities to help Syrian struggling in the two-year conflict.

“He was only armed to protect his vehicles,” his brother said.

German authorities have opened an investigation to probe whether Karan supported a foreign terrorist network.

“This is shocking news to me,” said Karan’s former team mate Michael Görlitz. “It’s a tragedy.”

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    Digging Up the Saudi Past: Some Would Rather Not
    August 31, 2009 RSS
    Associated Press Writer

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—Much of the world knows Petra, the ancient ruin in modern-day Jordan that is celebrated in poetry as “the rose-red city, ‘half as old as time,'” and which provided the climactic backdrop for “Indiana Jones”

    But far fewer know Madain Saleh, a similarly spectacular treasure built by the same civilization, the Nabateans.
    That’s because it’s in Saudi Arabia, where conservatives are deeply hostile to pagan, Jewish and Christian sites that predate the founding of Islam in the 7th century.

    But now, in a quiet but notable change of course, the kingdom has opened up an archaeology boom by allowing Saudi and foreign archaeologists to explore cities and trade routes long lost in the desert.

    The sensitivities run deep. Archaeologists are cautioned not to talk about pre-Islamic finds outside scholarly literature. Few ancient treasures are on display, and no Christian or Jewish relics. A 4th or 5th century church in eastern Saudi Arabia has been fenced off ever since its accidental discovery 20 years ago and its exact whereabouts kept secret.

    In the eyes of conservatives, the land where Islam was founded and the Prophet Muhammad was born must remain purely Muslim. Saudi Arabia bans public displays of crosses and churches, and whenever non-Islamic artifacts are excavated, the news must be kept low-key lest hard-liners destroy the finds.

    “They should be left in the ground,” said Sheikh Mohammed al-Nujaimi, a well-known cleric, reflecting the views of many religious leaders. “Any ruins belonging to non-Muslims should not be touched. Leave them in place, the way they have been for thousands of years.”

    In an interview, he said Christians and Jews might claim discoveries of relics, and that Muslims would be angered if ancient symbols of other religions went on show. “How can crosses be displayed when Islam doesn’t recognize that Christ was crucified?” said al-Nujaimi. “If we display them, it’s as if we recognize the crucifixion.”

    In the past, Saudi authorities restricted foreign archaeologists to giving technical help to Saudi teams. Starting in 2000, they began a gradual process of easing up that culminated last year with American, European and Saudi teams launching significant excavations on sites that have long gone lightly explored, if at all.

    At the same time, authorities are gradually trying to acquaint the Saudi public with the idea of exploring the past, in part to eventually develop tourism. After years of being closed off, 2,000-year-old Madain Saleh is Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site and is open to tourists. State media now occasionally mention discoveries as well as the kingdom’s little known antiquities museums.

    “It’s already a big change,” said Christian Robin, a leading French archaeologist and a member of the College de France. He is working in the southwestern region of Najran, mentioned in the Bible by the name Raamah and once a center of Jewish and Christian kingdoms.

    No Christian artifacts have been found in Najran, he said.
    Spearheading the change is the royal family’s Prince Sultan bin Salman, who was the first Saudi in space when he flew on the U.S. space shuttle Discovery in 1985. He is now secretary general of the governmental Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.

    Dhaifallah Altalhi, head of the commission’s research center at the governmental Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, said there are 4,000 recorded sites of different periods and types, and most of the excavations are on pre-Islamic sites.

    “We treat all our sites equally,” said Altalhi. “This is part of the history and culture of the country and must be protected and developed.” He said archaeologists are free to explore and discuss their findings in academic venues.

    Still, archaeologists are cautious. Several declined to comment to The Associated Press on their work in the kingdom.

    The Arabian Peninsula is rich, nearly untouched territory for archaeologists. In pre-Islamic times it was dotted with small kingdoms and crisscrossed by caravan routes to the Mediterranean. Ancient Arab peoples — Nabateans, Lihyans, Thamud — interacted with Assyrians and Babylonians, Romans and Greeks.

    Much about them is unknown.

    Najran, discovered in the 1950s, was invaded nearly a century before Muhammad’s birth by Dhu Nawas, a ruler of the Himyar kingdom in neighboring Yemen. A convert to Judaism, he massacred Christian tribes, leaving triumphant inscriptions carved on boulders.

    At nearby Jurash, a previously untouched site in the mountains overlooking the Red Sea, a team led by David Graf of the University of Miami is uncovering a city that dates at least to 500 B.C. The dig could fill out knowledge of the incense routes running through the area and the interactions of the region’s kingdoms over a 1,000-year span.

    And a French-Saudi expedition is doing the most extensive excavation in decades at Madain Saleh. The city, also known as al-Hijr, features more than 130 tombs carved into mountainsides. Some 450 miles from Petra, it is thought to mark the southern extent of the Nabatean kingdom.
    In a significant 2000 find, Altalhi unearthed a Latin dedication of a restored city wall at Madain Saleh which honored the second century Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.

    So far, there has been no known friction with conservatives over the new excavations, in part because they are in the early stages, are not much discussed in Saudi Arabia, and haven’t produced any announcements of overtly Christian or Jewish finds.

    But the call to keep the land purged of other religions runs deep among many Saudis. Even though Madain Saleh site is open for tourism, many Saudis refuse to visit on religious grounds because the Quran says God destroyed it for its sins.
    Excavations sometimes meet opposition from local residents who fear their region will become known as “Christian” or “Jewish.” And Islam being an iconoclastic religion, hard-liners have been known to raze even ancient Islamic sites to ensure that they do not become objects of veneration.

    Saudi museums display few non-Islamic artifacts.
    Riyadh’s National Museum shows small pre-Islamic statues, a golden mask and a large model of a pagan temple. In some display cases, female figurines are listed, but not present — likely a nod to the kingdom’s ban on depictions of the female form.

    A tiny exhibition at the King Saud University in Riyadh displays small nude statues of Hercules and Apollo in bronze, a startling sight in a country where nakedness in art is highly taboo.

    In 1986, picnickers accidentally discovered an ancient church in the eastern region of Jubeil. Pictures of the simple stone building show crosses in the door frame.

    It is fenced off — for its protection, authorities say — and archaeologists are barred from examining it.

    Faisal al-Zamil, a Saudi businessman and amateur archaeologist, says he has visited the church several times.
    He recalls offering a Saudi newspaper an article about the site and being turned down by an editor.

    “He was shocked,” al-Zamil said.

    “He said he could not publish the piece.”
    Associated Press Writer Lee Keath contributed from Cairo.

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