London Olympics and Ramadan
Ramadan time is due to be during the London Olympics 2012, which is starting on Friday July 27. We have heard from many Muslims regarding this. The Olympics is coming to London and we may as well just accept that it is happening and is a good thing for all of us and Britain as a whole. Will it have an impact during Ramadan time? Yes, I'm sure it will as the capital gets ready to welcome thousands of visitors food will become one of the most obvious issues as all these visitors, competitors, fans, trainers, etc will need to eat.
How this will impact Muslims during Ramadan depends upon a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control during the Olympics, such as are the supermarkets prepared enough as truly London has not hosted an event of this magnitude in living memory. I personally believe that it is better to be prepared than wait for the unexpected.
The other issue which I am sure will happen will be those that will try and profit on the situation, and yes that does include some of our Muslim brothers and sisters, who feel that it is the perfect time to raise their prices for meat and groceries. What times we live in! We are in the middle of a deep recession and there are those looking to exploit the situation for their own personal gains. Trust me, this will happen. If you remember when there were the terrorist bombings in London and hotels doubled and tripled their prices during a time when many couldn't get home as public transport was shut down. Even recently record giants had to back down when they raised he price of Whitney Houston’s CD on iTunes AFTER she had just died, although after much public disgust and negative publicity they had lowered it.
The best way to go through Ramadan during the Olympics is to be prepared BEFORE the Olympics. This will undoubtedly be the best way forward. Order enough food to last especially meats as these will be the first to be in high demand.
If you will be going to the games than it goes without saying to be prepared as many events are in the open and during high temperatures and as you are fasting you may be more susceptible to dehydration an sunburn. Whether the events are indoors or outdoors, you may want to bring some food or at least something to open your fast with. I understand that some events take place early and finish early and you may think that you have hours until fast opens but bear in mind that it you are travelling on the London underground or in a car stuck in traffic than it may be quite some time before you find the nearest place to stop for food or something to open your fast with. If you live or have been to London than you well know how difficult it can be travelling on the London underground during peak times, can you imagine during the biggest sporting event in the world?
I will be contacting the London Olympics committee regarding any information on prayer areas set aside and any extra information they have. I will update you once I find out more.Regarding the athletes, there are 3,500 athletes competing who are Muslim. How will this affect them is a question for them to answer. It is unreasonable to assume that all Muslim athletes will be fasting as the Iraqi javelin thrower told the New York Times recently "How do you want a machine to work without a fuel?"