The Ramadhan Diaries

Fasting in London and beyond

Archive for the category “Facts”

Saudi Female Athletes At London 2012 Olympics

Saudi Female Athletes At The Olympics

I know this is not new information but I want to mark it and mention it on the blog. I am really pleased to see this – its progress. I am sad however that the judoka will not be permitted to wear a headscarf if she competes. That’s an awful choice to have to make for a woman who covers. It’s going to be important to support the women arriving in London to the Games but I think the IOC thoughts on this ruling could have been wiser if they really did want to open the door for full female participation from conservative Arab States. By this one statement and ruling, there are already probably a number of young women and girls in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere who will be prevented from participating in sport in the future-especially at higher levels, where the argument of how it will interfere with their faith will be used.

It goes against every bit of campaigning that was done to get these women here in the first place. I cannot see how wearing a headscarf is going to be unsafe, as decided by the IOC committee. FIFA said that about football and now with persistence and dedication demonstrated by passionate Muslim female football players, and by example, this notion has been kicked into touch. Pun intended.

Will the same happen for all other sports – where we can get rid of this rather daft notion that covering the hair and being modestly dressed is dangerous? I think the only time I would really think wearing a headscarf would be dangerous would be in  an event like competitive flame throwing or something. But I can hardly ever see that being an Olympic sport. Everything else really should be fine. The only actual harm being done is through this decision is to the athlete in terms of the pressure it will put on her to choose, and subsequently face potential criticism or worse on return home and to other future female athletes from conservative Muslim states.

Fasting in Greenland

Fasting in Greenland

I got sent this story link from a great friend Ann Alexander who lives up in Scotland. We met about ten years ago now – can’t believe it’s been that long – when I was still a student. We were both separately working away on stories and circumstances on men being detained without charge under TB’s policy ( remember my previous post I am not referring to tuberculosis but Tony Blair-am not being medical here). I was living at the foot of the Grampian mountains surrounded by cows and sheep in the lovely village of Edzell and Ann was living by the beautiful little coastal town of Montrose. We were only fifteen minutes away from each other. I was doing my bit on my side of the hills and she was doing her’s and it took someone in London who knew us both to connect us!

Anyway Ann is great at spotting stuff on the web and she has sourced this gorgeous story about the Only Muslim In Greenland. He is fasting for 21 hours a day because of the way the summer works over there! Now that is hardcore.


Radio Ramadhan

I love community radio! And Ramadhan Radio belongs to this genre-where for 30 days of the year members of the community come together and get a really dynamic radio station onto air. In Edinburgh, when I lived there-and how I miss it- Radio Ramadhan Edinburgh was a really exciting venture. There was a lot of hard work and passion that went on behind the scenes and the professionalism and dedication was pretty inspiring. If you want to have a snap shot of what they do – check out the website. They try to get a healthy mix of the spiritual, the essentials-like lessons about prayer and the Qu’ran, community and politics. It’s also a fab way to know of what is going on in the community.

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