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The shocking moral depravity of the Olympic Games

Ebrahim Moosa – 09 August 2016


Every 4 years, the world is taken by storm by the summer Olympic games that sees fever pitch excitement, impressive displays of athleticism, as well as personal and national journeys of hope, triumph and despair being beamed globally.

Organisers portray the games as a testimony to the vibrancy of the human spirit, a platform for sportsmanship and a cause for the unity of nations.

“Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind,” says a write-up on the official Olympics website

“Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.

“The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

As grandiose as these ideals resonate, there is however wrapped somewhere between them, at the Olympics, another more ominous brand of education at play, that can hardly be considered anywhere near exemplary for the youth.

Its evolution can be sketched through the steady objectification of athletes’ bodies, as is now so conspicuous in coverage of the games. Coupled with that is the air of permissiveness that has come to characterise institutions such as the Olympic Village associated with the games.

“What happens in the Village stays in the Village,” revealed a 2012 tell-all expose that purported to lift the lid on the secrets of the Olympic Village.

A succession of reports affirm, that for Olympics today, it is as much about the action off the field than on the field.

Illicit sex is glorified amongst athletes, and the instruments of such debauchery are made freely available.

A trend of supplying condoms to athletes began at the Seoul Games in 1988 when 8 500 condoms were distributed. That figure went up to 50 000 at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. In the 2000 Sydney Olympics, organisers had to order 20 000 more after the initial allocation of 70 000 ran out. London 2012 saw that figure spiking to 150 000.

Rio 2016 is now being billed the “raunchiest in history” with some 450 000 condoms being doled out through vending machines that have been installed all across the Games Village, amounting to a shocking 42 pieces being allotted to each of the 10 500 participating athletes.

This shameless policy has reaped what it had sowed, with accounts mentioning flagrant public displays of immodesty among athletes, too dreadful to mention.

The immorality is entrenched through proceedings such as the opening and closing ceremonies, and the presence of mascots and cheerleaders, whose utility is measured by the degree of nudity offered.

In addition, there is the scourge of alcohol and substance abuse that is now digested with an air of normality.

It is claimed that competitors at previous games smuggled in drugs and filled water bottles with liquor to get it into the drugs and alcohol free zone.

When considered cumulatively the effects of such evils only spell doom for participants, particularly those from Muslim and morally upright backgrounds.

The Olympic movement seeks to embrace competitors from all cultural and religious backgrounds and appears to affirm their rights to maintain their identity, and accommodate individual needs.

However, it simultaneously provides them with the tools to unravel their morality and sacrifice the very principles Olympism claims to uphold, this at the altar of a global hedonistic monoculture.

These athletes, who are upheld as role models, then return to their societies, and if corrupted, carry with them hallmarks of this newfound permissiveness and liberalism back into their environments.

Likewise, viewers of the games are fed a staple that consists far less of “friendship, solidarity and fair play” than the permissiveness and sexual objectification that underpin the promotion of the games.

Ironically, such depravity is glorified at a time when Brazil is overtaken by the Zika virus, which is known to spread sexually. Its potential effects on the foetuses of women who contract the virus in early pregnancy are known to be devastating. Many babies exposed to the virus in utero are born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, as well as some developmental delays.

The Messenger of Allah SAW said: “If ever immorality spreads in a community and there is no sense of shame on its occurrence or mentioning it (and people talk about it as if nothing bad has taken place), diseases which were not present in the time of their predecessors will spread among them.” [Ibn Majah, Al-Bazzar, Al-Bayhaqi]

We have been taught that every way of life has an innate character, and that the character of Islam is modesty (haya).

A proliferation of lifestyle diseases in our communities does indeed underscore the need for promotion of physical activity and athleticism amongst our youth. But that can be achieved through a multiplicity of wholesome ways aside from the Olympics.

For the Olympics has shown itself to possess an innate character of immodesty.

And “Among the early prophetic teachings that have reached people is this: If you do not feel shame, then do as you wish” [Hadith]

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