An athletic club in Ireland has temporarily dropped its Christian cross crest from being displayed on sportswear after hackers claiming to be affiliated with ISIS attacked the group’s website.
The action, by the leadership of the Crusaders, comes just as some of the group’s runners were set to take part in the Dublin City Marathon.
The Independent has the news:
“An athletic club has decided to temporarily remove a cross emblem from its crest on new sportswear after its website was attacked by someone claiming to represent so-called Islamic State.
“The Crusaders Athletic Club wrote to members last week telling them that a decision had been taken to remove the cross from new singlets to be worn by some runners competing in the Dublin City Marathon in two weeks.”
Crusaders’ members weren’t happy. Some even threatened to leave the group, the news outlet reported.
Group leadership, meanwhile, is said to be considering the permanent removal of the cross from its emblem.
Again, from the Independent:
“In an email sent to members, which has been seen by the Sunday Independent, the club said a final decision had not been taken to change the crest but it would be discussed at the annual general meeting.
“‘As some of you may or may not have heard, our website was hacked (twice) by persons unknown purporting to be from Islamic State and threatening messages sent to us,’ it said.
“‘The second attack pretty much wiped the site out. The committee has a responsibility to discuss and take measures to protect the club and a lot of time and energy was spent trying to figure out how best to deal with this.’
“The email said the cyber attack led to a ‘wider debate’ about the club’s identity and there was also a discussion by the organisation’s committee about changing its name due to the religious and historic association with the Christian crusades of the middle ages.
“‘Threats have to be taken seriously and although any real danger is unlikely, it was decided that as an interim measure and as a compromise to some views in the committee to temporarily suspend the use of the cross logo until the proposal could be put to the members at the AGM,’ it added.”
In 2009, the Middlesex Crusaders, a club for cricket players, changed its name out of concerns about offending the Jewish and Muslim communities.