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Monday, 16 October 2006

London Olympics Upset Muslims

As the old saying goes, you can never please everyone. The organisers of the London 2012 Olympics are discovering the veracity of this saying, as it has just been pointed out to them that the 2012 Games will clash with Ramadan, the most holy month in the Islamic calendar.

Some Muslims claim that this will mean that Muslim athletes will be at a disadvantage, as they fast from sunrise to sunset for the entire duration of the Games.

In 2012, Ramadan takes place from July 21 to August 20, while the Olympics run from July 27 to August 12.

Around 3,000 Muslim competitors are expected to be affected.

Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, said:

"They would not have organised this at Christmas. It is equally stupid to organise it at Ramadan.

It shows a complete lack of awareness and sensitivity.

This is going to disadvantage the athletes and alienate the Asian communities by saying they don't matter.

It's not only going to affect the participants it's going to affect all the people who want to watch the Games.

They won't want to travel during Ramadan and they won't want to watch sport. It's a spiritual time

Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, an imam on the Muslim Council of Great Britain, rather wisely pointed out there will doubtless be a sensible solution:

"I'm sure the athletes will seek advice from their scholars.

They are obviously going to be at a disadvantage because other competitors will be drinking and keeping up their energy levels.

But they are athletes and I am sure they will train their bodies to cope with this.

A Muslim might feel it would have been nice to avoid this month but life doesn't stop for Muslims during Ramadan even though they are fasting.

The best thing for a Muslim is to continue his or her life as normal. This is the real test

Muslim countries, such as Turkey, are calling for the date to be changed.

Joanna Manning Cooper, spokeswoman for London 2012, said:

"We are working with the Muslim Council of Great Britain to find ways to accommodate Ramadan during the London Games."

Britain and the world is not Muslim, it is not for the world to change it's plans to suit Islam or any other religion.

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