Muslim Azerbaijani athletes receive waiver for Ramadan as they compete in the European Games
  • Azerbaijan, a predominantly Shia Muslim country, has 285 athletes competing in the Games, which the country is hosting.
  • Local clerics issued a fatwa excusing athletes from the period of abstention from food, drink, and sex during daylight hours.
  • The Games have brought unwanted negative attention to Azerbaijan, where political dissidents have faced aggressive crackdowns and rights violations.

“To make sure that the valiant Islamic sportsman is stronger than his competitor in the month of Ramadan, he cannot observe oruj [fast]. … To defeat a competitor on a sports field, to defend the honor of your country and raise the flag of your homeland is important and pleases God.”

Read the full story at EurasiaNet.