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Blurring The Line Between Religious Freedom and School Sports

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posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 08:32 AM
This young man, for reasons of faith, will not take food or drink during his observance of Ramadan which is of course every bit his right as an American. However the dilema is that during football practices in the high temperature he is at risk of heat stroke and possible death due to dehydration.

The question therefore is should there be times, when participating in school sponsored events that religious values should be overruled for the health of those participating. Would it be fair to the other kids to endure the impact of seeing this young man drop dead on the field in the unfortunate were to happen.

It apparantly is not affecting his performance so far so that is not an issue but the threat to his health and safety does remain. He should not be treated any different but in allowing him to play and practice poses a sever risk.

Ahmed Elshaer is a rising sophomore at Wesley Chapel (Fla.) High. As first reported in a terrific story by the St. Petersburg Times' Matt Baker, he's also a devout Muslim, with his faith growing even stronger since he and his family emigrated to the United States from Saudi Arabia when he was 9. Soon thereafter, he began fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, a practice which requires him to reject all food and water from sunup to sundown.

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 08:35 AM
Then he shouldn't play sports. No one is twisting his arm..

Thx for the thread!!!!

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 09:00 AM
reply to post by kro32

Let him do whatever he wants.. as long as his performance on the team isn't effected, we shouldn't care.. shouldn't even be a news story. I would say that he should have to sign a waiver that he is doing these practices at his own risk. But I'm fairly certain all kids sign a waiver releasing the school of any damages.

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 09:02 AM
The problem is, if he participates, and dies as a result, then the parent sue the school for allowing this to happen. On the other hand, if the school steps in and bans him from participating due to health concerns, the parents sue the school for discrimination.

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 09:05 AM
reply to post by CherubBaby

Well it's probably more of a matter of him wanting to continue to play sports, not being able to fully understand the risks, because of his age, and ignore those he does understand because of his religion. In this case, as a matter of safety, he should have to make a choice, either hydrate and play, or warm the bench until your fast is over.

As a non religious person this is easy for me to say, but I've personally seen a friend die, needlessly, because getting a transfusion was against his religion. When the matter relates to safety, someone should step in.

We have helmet bylaws in my city requiring anyone on a bicycle to wear a helmet, as a matter of safety. Sure, the person might say it's their choice, and the nanny state shouldn't have a say, but some of these people in their lifetime will be saved by that device, even if they were forced to use it.

The child might think he has a right to play, but if he can't assess the risk himself, someone else should be able to, in this case, the coach. The coach should sideline the kid, much like he would for an injury, until it is SAFE for him to play.

Fasting, and playing football or any sport really, in the hot sun, is a recipe for danger, and by the time you feel heat stroke coming on, it's too late.

As someone mentioned while i was editing, the kids sign a waiver, sure, they sure do, and guess what else? If there is a medical condition that puts the child at risk, even a minor one, they can't play. The kid could sign a waiver saying he understands the risks to clear the school of any possible lawsuits.

But just hold up and think about this.

Is it worth this kids LIFE to make a stand for a matter of principle, and perceived discrimination?

edit on 12-8-2011 by phishyblankwaters because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-8-2011 by phishyblankwaters because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-8-2011 by phishyblankwaters because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 09:17 AM

Are IV's out of the question? you neither eat nor drink those, and it serves the purpose equally.

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 09:27 AM

WHy is it that whenever there is a story in the news regarding religion, the crux of the story is always an irrational choice?


posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 09:31 AM
I would have to assume that a devout Muslim would place their sacrifice during Ramadan above high school football. And I could be wrong, but isn't there rules, at least in some school districts, that mandate athletes to take water breaks during practice? As this is in Florida, surely no one can go for an extended period of time with out water.

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 09:33 AM
This is nothing new this happened to an Inter Milan football player and the manager said it was affecting his performance because of his religious rituals.

Also the 60s Britain had protests over Muslim girls having swimming lessons,

Currently in the USA Muslim women want seperate swimming lessons and times.

I do wonder who is being labelled as intolerant these days, the line has been blurred.

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 09:34 AM
This is America and he have the right to worship Satan if he wants to and nobody has the right to tell him otherwise, but if his performance bring down the team that is the majority then his butt should be kicked out of the team without any repercussion, plain and simple, the problem in America is that they will call it against the school for no bending to individual believes even if it affects the entire team as a whole even is the team hold the majority.

To me that is bull crap.

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