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MUSLIM GROUP IN SOMALIA CONDEMNS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

MOGADISHU, A women's basketball tournament in Somalia was denounced and declared un-Islamic by the Somali Religious Council Thursday, a tremendously influential force in the East African nation that is more than 99 percent Muslim.

The female competition, which was to begin Thursday, is the first-ever national women's basketball tournament in Somalia, local reports said. The games will feature teams from each of the Somalia's five administrative regions, along with some from the capital, Mogadishu.

The first game was scheduled for the northeastern town of Garowe Thursday, roughly a 13-hour car ride from Mogadishu.

Bashir Ahmed Salat, the chairman of the Somali Religious Council, said the women's tournament acted against Muslim values and could lead to destruction and suffering, BBC News reported Thursday.

He claimed the games challenged the teachings of Allah, the Muslim deity, do not permit women to wear sports attire or show their body and beauty publicly.

"We are warning against women's games, it is something that Islam does not allow. It is not good for men to watch women clad in sporting attire, culturally and religiously. It is a shame, he said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK