Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sunday Sign of Hope 1/29/06

Pakistani women race peacefully

from BBC News:

A mixed-sex marathon passed off peacefully in Pakistan after thousands of police were deployed to stop disruption by Islamic activists.

Some 500 women took part in three races in Lahore, although 2,000 due to run had backed out over fears of violence.

Islamic protesters had demanded women be barred from taking part, arguing their presence ran counter to Islam.

But correspondents say such events are important to Pakistan's government, keen to seem a moderate Islamic state.

A total of three races were held: an exclusively male, professional run, a mixed-sex marathon and a family event which involved women and children running for 5km. Some 10,000 people took part, including 60 foreign athletes.

This is the second time Lahore has held an international marathon.

Organisers say the races have helped raise funds for the victims of the earthquake which devastated parts of northern Pakistan and Kashmir in October.


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