Malaysian Olympians to delay Ramadan fast
KUALA LUMPUR - Agence France-Presse
Nur Suryani Mohamad Taibi will compete despite being eight months pregnant. EPA photoMalaysian Islamic and Olympic officials said athletes from the predominantly Muslim country are excused from fasting for Ramadan while competing at the Games.
The London Games mark the first time the events will be held during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan since the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
During Ramadan, which began last weekend, Muslims are expected to abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn until sunset.
“They are going to the Olympics to bring fame for the country. They can fast when they return to Malaysia,” Mufti Harussani Zakaria, the top religious official for the Malaysian state of Perak, told AFP.
Eleven out of the 30 Malaysian Olympians are Muslim.
“Islam is lenient. It is not a religion that forces people. When we go to London we are termed as travellers. Islam allows us to postpone our fasting,” said Malaysian Shooter Nur Suryani Mohamad Taibi, who will compete despite being eight months pregnant.
Islamic authorities in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, and Morocco have recently allowed their athletes to postpone their fasts.