Aug 12 2011
No matter how hot it gets on the practice field at Wesley Chapel High, Ahmed Elshaer will not drink. No matter how faint the senior offensive lineman feels, he will not eat. Elshaer is fasting from all food and drink from sunup to sundown for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of August. So now, all the Christian players are forced to cater to one muslim’s religious demands.
RIVALS –(H/T Carl) -Ahmed Elshaer is a sophomore at Wesley Chapel (Fla.) High. As first reported in a terrific story (Terrific? What’s terrific about being a muslim?) 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 (Ah yes, is he taking flying lessons, too?) 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.
The teenager insists that fasting during Ramadan is a keen part of his identity. In past years, Ramadan fasting kept Elshaer from joining football teams at all, for fear that he would struggle to handle practicing without food or water. (So instead, you decided to join and make everyone else miserable) Yet this year Elshaer decided to play for the Wesley Chapel varsity team, and his commitment to his faith hardly seems to have wavered, even as he works through his first ever training camp.
“It’s tough, but I’ve got to do it for my religion.” While daytime fasting hasn’t kept Elshaer out of any preseason practices or drills yet, it has created another level of concern for his coaches and other Pasco County officials. Wesley Chapel head football coach Ben Alford said he is particularly concerned about Elshaer because of both his lack of hydration and the level to which he pushes himself on the field.
To cope with the Florida heat for Elshaer and the rest of the team, Alford moved the program’s practices to 7 a.m., when it is still a bit cooler for outdoor workouts. (But you never thought of doing this until there was a muslim on the team) When the Wesley Chapel team takes water breaks, Elshaer dumps water over his head and neck in an effort to cool down his core temperature.
The trying conditions have already taken their toll on Elshaer’s body, with the teen dropping some 10 pounds since Ramadan began August 1. Still, while Elshaer’s coaches and teammates express concern over his steadfast determination to stick to the guidelines of Islam, he has consistently expressed a more stoic and steely determination, all based on his faith. (Yes, the same faith that commands them to kill all non-believers. Yet another example of dhimmis bowing down to the demands of Islam. DISGUSTING)