London 2012 Games To Be Held During Ramadan
Reports say that the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be held during Ramadan, the most holy month in the Islamic calendar. In 2012 Ramadan will take place from July 21 to August 20 and the 2012 Games run from July 27 to August 12. It’s anticipated 3,000 Muslim competitors would be affected.
About a quarter of the 11,099 athletes who took part in the Athens 2004 Games came from countries with predominantly Muslim populations.
Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the London based Human Rights Commission said, “they would not have organized this at Christmas. It is equally stupid to organize 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 didn’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 said, “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. 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”.
The British Olympic Association is planning to meet with London 2012 organizers to discuss how the timing will affect UK Muslim athletes and Muslim countries are calling for the dates to be changed.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it gave the five cities bidding for the 2012 Games a window for the Games, from July 15 to August 31, which leaves a week either side of Ramadan.
IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said the host city selects the dates within that window, adding, “the Games bring together virtually every religion and creed. How to deal with religious clashes is up to the athletes”.
Joanna Manning Cooper, spokeswoman for London 2012 said, “we did know about it when we submitted our bid and we have always believed we could find ways to accommodate it. We had lots of things to consider when we submitted our dates, including the fact that transport will be less crowded in the summer holiday. We also need 70,000 volunteers and this is the best time to find them.
“We are working with the Muslin Council of Great Britain to find ways to accommodate Ramadan during the London Games”. Write or read comments about this article
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