SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- The explosions that ripped through the finish line of the Boston marathon on Monday, killing at least two and injuring scores more, rattled an entire country.
But sporting events around the world have a long history as targets for violence. Many of the attacks have been labeled acts of terrorism, even as President Barack Obama notably avoided such language in speaking about the Boston Marathon attack on Monday night.
A list of some of the more notable attacks on sporting events:
1972 Munich Olympics
During the 1972 Munich Games, the Palestinian militant group called Black September took the Israeli national team hostage, eventually killing 11 athletes and coaches and one West German police officer.
On September 5, 1972, eight Palestinian militants invaded Olympic Village, killed two members of the Israeli team and kidnapped nine others, according to several accounts.
After a day of failed negotiations, the captors demanded transportation for them and their hostages to Cairo, Egypt. The Germans agreed to provide the flights, all the while planning a rescue attempt. It was during that attempt that the remaining hostages were killed, as well as the German police officer. Five Palestinians also died.
1996 Atlanta Olympics
At 1:20 am on July 27, 1996—eight days after that year’s Summer Olympics opening ceremonies—a bomb ripped through Centennial Olympic Park, a public entertainment venue in Atlanta, Georgia. Two people died and over a hundred were injured in the blast.
Eric Rudolph, a former explosives expert for the United States Army, confessed to placing the bomb in front of a video screen in the park. He called in to 911 twice before the bomb was scheduled to go off to warn officials about the bomb, according to an interview in Sports Illustrated.
"The plan was to clear the park, and hopefully after clearing the park and the explosion, this would create a state of instability in Atlanta, potentially shut the Games down or at least eat into the profits that the Games were going to make,” Randolph said in the article. “The idea was to use them as warning devices, not to target people. ... In retrospect, it was a poor decision.”
Rudolph was caught in 2003 and is currently serving four life terms, without the possibility of parole, at a Colorado prison.
2002 Madrid Soccer Bombing
On May 1, 2002 a car bomb exploded near Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, just hours before Real Madrid was to play Barcelona in the European Champions League final.
A second car bomb exploded a half hour later about one mile (1.6 kilometers) away.
Basque separatist group ETA took responsibility for the attack, which injured 17 people.
Officials went ahead with the game, in which an estimated 75,000 people showed up to cheer for their teams, according to a report on CNN.
2008 Sri Lanka Marathon
On April 6, 2008, a suicide bomber detonated a device at the start of a Sri Lankan marathon in Waliweriaya (map), killing at least 15 people, including highway minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, according to reports in The New York Times.
The attack, blamed on the rebel group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also injured almost 100 people.
2010 World Cup fans attacked in Uganda
At 10:30 p.m. (local time) on July 11, 2010, at least three bombs exploded inKampala, Uganda (map), near where people were watching a World Cup soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands.
According to The New York Times, at least 50 people were killed in attacks that targeted a restaurant and a large rugby field.
The Washington Post reported that militant Somali group al-Shabab, linked to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Barcelona president Sandro Rosell on Thursday suggested a football match between Israel and the Palestinians with players from both sides of the conflict as a step toward Middle East peace.
"We would like, with the Palestinian and Israeli leadership, to promote the idea of a football match for peace," he said in a joint statement alongside Israeli President Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv.
"FC Barcelona, modestly, wishes to make themselves available in order to contribute to the efforts to strengthen the bridges of peace and dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian communities," Rosell said in remarks relayed following the statement. "We want to make our team, our players available to take part in a football match with the hope that this game will serve to extend the channels of dialogue within the two communities, that will help bring them closer."
Peace would be possible only if confidence, respect and understanding existed between the peoples, Rosell said.
"We believe with all our heart that a match involving Barca, with the collaboration of Israelis and Palestinians, can contribute to re-establish those links which are indispensable for people to live together peacefully."
Peres told Rosell that "in Israel, like all over the world, Barcelona has a legion of fans," and that football "brings down barriers, eliminates racism and teaches us to compete in friendship rather than fight in anger."
"Real peace is between people and not just between governments, and as our children love Barcelona, so too do children in the Palestinian Authority," said Peres.
"Together with you, and with the president of the Palestinian Authority, we will work to stage a special match which hopefully won't be a one-off occasion but part of ongoing cooperation between our children."
Rosell is due to meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and head of Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub in Ramallah on Friday to promote the initiative.
No date for such a match has yet been set, but Israeli media reported it could take place on 31 July.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Canada's largest city of Toronto will welcome the first-ever Muslim track and field competition this year.
"The competition will be open to youths, 10 to 20 years old, both boys and girls and will be at the Toronto Track and Field Center which is at York University," Riyad Khan, a founder of Leading Out Loud (LOL) Inc., which is organizing the event, told OnIslam.net.
"It will be a day filled with fun, sports and unity."
Set to open in May, the Muslim Track and Field Championships 2013 will include a variety of competitions, including running events, pit events, shot put and high jump.Canada Muslims Urged to Contribute
"We are going to be a sanctioned event through Athletics Ontario, so it can count as a preliminary event to go onto further competition," Khan said, referring to the sport governing body for athletics for the province of Ontario.
"So if anyone comes and breaks a provincial record, those times will be official."
LOL Enterprises was recently formed by Khan and Bilal Qureshi, teachers at the Islamic Foundation School in suburban Toronto.
LOL aims to provide unique opportunities for Muslim youth and young people in general within the Greater Toronto Area.
"Myself and Bilal from the Islamic Foundation School (IFS) have had this idea for sometime and we have a core group of students who graduated from IFS who wanted to do more for the community," Khan said.
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based on running, jumping, and throwing
Track and field events are generally individual sports with athletes challenging each other to decide a single victor.
The racing events are won by the athlete with the fastest time, while the jumping and throwing events are won by the athlete who has achieved the greatest distance or height in the contest.
Track and field in the United States and Canada tends to refer to all athletics events, including racewalking, marathon and cross-country running.
Organizers have urged Muslim youths to join in the ground-breaking event and 'Be Orange with us.'
"What does it mean to Be Orange?" asks the organizers on their website.
"The color orange embodies many of the core values of our organization. It has been associated with traits of warmth, energy and ambition.”
The founders are hoping to expand their offerings in the near future.
"We are starting with one competition but we are not restricted to athletics,” said Khan.
"We want to do other things in the future, such as leadership conferences.
"At the school we take our students to events, such as the Ontario Student Leadership conference or interfaith events or Me to We, on a yearly basis and we are the only Islamic school there,” he added.
"So we would like to do something like these so we can get more Muslims on board."
Muslims make around 2.8 percent of Canada's 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the Roman Catholic country.
A recent survey showed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian, and that they are more educated than the general population.- www.shfaqna.com/English
Sourcie: On Islam