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Football versus faith – the Ramadan conundrum

Football versus faith – the Ramadan conundrum

MAHER MEZAHI WHEN Senegalese striker Demba Ba got off to a slow start with Newcastle United after joining them in July 2011, his coach, Alan Pardew, blamed it on his decision to fast during the holy month of Ramadan. “It’s difficult for strikers. Fasting takes their sharpness away,” Pardew said in a post-match interview.  A devout Muslim, Ba partakes in the annual custom of abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset throughout the ninth month in the Muslim calendar. Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory for all able-bodied Muslims. Special exemptions are made for children, the elderly, those who…
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Rising food costs hamper Senegal Ramadan traditions

Rising food costs hamper Senegal Ramadan traditions

NGOUDA DIONE THERE was no meat in the large silver bowl around which Astou Mandiang and her family gathered after breaking fast at nightfall in Senegal's capital Dakar, where Muslims celebrating the holy month of Ramadan are feeling the pinch of inflation. Food prices in West Africa have shot up by between 20% and 30% over the past five years, with drought and conflict pushing millions off farmland and stalling food production, aid agencies say. At the same time, border closures during the pandemic have disrupted supply chains. The war in Ukraine is likely to add even more pressure on…
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Morocco condemns publication of Prophet Mohammad cartoons

Morocco condemns publication of Prophet Mohammad cartoons

MOROCCO’S foreign ministry says the continuing publication of "offensive" cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad is an act of provocation. French media published the caricatures of the Prophet, which were also projected on some buildings, after the beheading of a French professor by an Islamist radical earlier this month. While condemning savage acts perpetrated in the name of Islam, "Morocco denounces these provocations offending the sacredness of the Islamic religion," the foreign ministry said in a statement. France has faced a backlash from a number of Muslim countries over the cartoons, including boycotts of French products. - Thomson Reuters Foundation.
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South African high court prohibits Muslim call to prayer. Why it got it wrong

South African high court prohibits Muslim call to prayer. Why it got it wrong

HELENA VAN COLLER, Associate Professor in Public Law, Rhodes University THE High Court in Durban, the port city in KwaZulu-Natal on the east coast of South Africa, has granted an interdict against a mosque, stopping its call to prayer (the athaan or adhan) because it can be heard from a neighbour’s house across the street. The neighbour had complained that the noise deprived him of the enjoyment of his property and interrupted his peace and quiet. The court found that the constitutional right to freedom of religion did not guarantee the practice of the religion in the form of the…
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