Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting, when Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and otherwise indulging from dawn until sunset. During Ramadan, Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds.
Some Western dhimmis, in an orgy of cultural sensitivity, feel compelled to join in this daytime denial:
The Ramadan fast is not just for Muslims anymore. Indeed, the curious trend of non-Muslim Westerners participating in the tradition has been on full display in 2009:
- Brian McLaren, a leading American evangelical in the "emergent church" camp, has fasted since Ramadan began. He explains: "As Christians, we want to come close to our Muslim neighbors and to share this important part of life with them. Just as Jesus, a devout Jew, overcame religious prejudice and learned from a Syrophonecian woman and was inspired by her faith two thousand years ago (Matthew 15:21 ff, Mark 7:24 ff), we seek to learn from our Muslim sisters and brothers today."
- Dozens of University of Michigan medical students voluntarily took part in a one-day fast, sponsored by a Muslim group, to help future doctors "understand how annual Ramadan fasting would affect the lives of their Muslim patients."
Some Western governments or organisations have issued directives that non-Muslims must not be seen eating during the fasting times. The Scottish National Health Service decreed doctors and nurses refrain from eating in front of their Muslim patients and colleagues during Ramadan.
- London Mayor Boris Johnson has encouraged Britons to learn about Islam through fasting. While visiting the East London Mosque — known for welcoming radical preachers — Johnson stated, "I urge people, particularly during Ramadan, to find out more about Islam, increase your understanding and learning, even fast for a day with your Muslim neighbor and break your fast at the local mosque."
Though the notion of non-Muslims participating in Islamic rituals appears odd to many, people can do as they please as long as they do not harm others. That said, one cringes when contemplating how Islamists will be emboldened by seeing non-Muslims engage publicly in Muslim practices. McLaren's actions also recall the complementary phenomenon of Western Christian leaders repackaging their faith with Islamic terminology (e.g., the bishop who wants God to be referred to as "Allah" and the Catholic organization that describes Lent as the "Christian Ramadan"). Furthermore, one cannot help but wonder whether joining in the traditions of non-Muslim religious groups would be touted as equally educational for medical students.
The third case does, however, cross a red line that the first two do not. Muslims are free to invite non-Muslims to fast — or do anything else — to mark the Islamic holy month, but it most definitely is not the place of government officials to offer such highly faith-specific suggestions. Imagine Johnson requesting that Muslims take part in Christian rituals to increase their "understanding." If this would never happen, then neither should the reverse. (source)
Staff in hospitals were advised by the Scottish NHS to avoid “working lunches” and to move food trolleys away from Muslim colleagues in the month when Islam forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours.But readers, if you want to be truly sensitive, surely it is incumbent on you to rise in the early hours in order to eat before the fast begins? One man certainly thinks so:
The guidance, also sent to teachers and police stations by a Scottish Muslim consultancy, includes pointers on how to accommodate staff observing Ramadan...Mary Scanlon, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing in the Scottish Parliament said the move was a “step too far” for political correctness. "I don’t see it’s necessary for Ramadan to affect the lives of people of other beliefs. It would be like saying Protestants shouldn’t eat meat next to Catholics who want to eat fish on a Friday.”
Osama Saeed, Scottish spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain supported the advice given about Ramadan. “My own experience when fasting is that non-Muslims do want to be sensitive about eating in front of those of us who are hungry,” he said. (source)
A FEW hours before dawn, when most New Yorkers are asleep, a man rolls out of bed in Brooklyn, dons a billowy red outfit and matching turban, climbs into his car, drives 15 minutes, pulls out a big drum and - on the pavement of a residential neighbourhood - starts to play.How churlish of these infidels are to complain. They need more sensitivity training. Perhaps they should take some lessons from Oxford:.
Mohammad Boota is a Ramadan drummer. Every morning during the holy month, drummers stroll the streets of Muslim communities around the world, waking worshippers so they can eat a meal before the day's fasting begins.
A Pakistani immigrant, Mr Boota has spent the past few years learning uncomfortable lessons about noise-complaint hotlines, profanity and the crankiness of non-Muslims rousted from sleep at 3.30am.
''Everywhere they complain,'' he said. ''People go, like, 'What the hell? What you doing, man?' They never know it's Ramadan.''
As the years went by, he and his drum were effectively banned from one neighbourhood after another. He now restricts himself to a short stretch of Coney Island Avenue where many Pakistanis live. Mr Boota wants to be a good American, and a good Muslim. ''I don't want to bother other communities' people, just the Pakistani people.'' (source)
Oxford has become the latest place in Britain where Muslims have submitted an application to broadcast calls to prayer from a mosque. Residents have urged the council to reject the request for a two-minute call three times a day, warning that it would turn the area into a Muslim ghetto.Note that Oxford residents aren't happy, but luckily influential media types are on hand to re-educate them:
However, elders at Oxford Central Mosque argue that it is part of their tradition.
Rezwana Rana said: "We don't want to tread on anyone's toes, but the area is very multicultural and we thought it would be an idea to have a call to prayer."
Ibrahim Mogra, an imam and leading member of the Muslim Council of Britain, said that most residents get accustomed to the call to prayer. The imam said cities including Bradford, Blackburn, Manchester, Bolton, Coventry and Birmingham allowed the prayers. They are restricted to "sociable hours" and to a maximum decibel level. (source)
Philip Hensher in How wrong of Oxford to still the call to prayer, says:
...Oxford's engagement with Arabic has come and gone, and a tenuous but real line of scholarship can be traced back four centuries.Hensher admits to ignorance about Islam. How strange that a person so enamoured by Islam's supposed charms does not see fit to investigate its theological underpinnings.
Gibbon, in the 18th century, wanted to study Arabic when at Oxford but was discouraged by his tutor from doing so. Perhaps some memory of that arose when he wrote, in a famous passage from The Decline and Fall, about the consequences of a famous Frankish victory over the Arabs. "But for the victory at Tours, the Koran might now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Muhammed."
(of the Muslim call to prayer) ...Oxford has quite a lot of calls to prayer already in the form of church bells, but this suggestion has raised the ire of local residents. Some claimed it was a matter of "community cohesion" – rather a dubious notion if it leads to recommendations that minorities keep quiet. An academic told the paper "What an utter cheek to inflict this on a non-Muslim area of Oxford. Christian churches ring bells, but they are just a signal. The Muslim call is a theological statement."
...one does wonder why people are objecting so virulently. I very much doubt that the Oxford central mosque is a hotbed of anti-western hatred, and they themselves sound genuinely puzzled why such objection to one of their central traditions is so violent.
Personally, not caring about or indeed understanding what the muezzin is saying, I find the sound one of the most romantic and wonderful in the world.
To be deep in the winding mediaeval streets of old Cairo as dusk falls, to hear a single voice raised in song, from the minaret of al-Azhar, perhaps; and then another, answering, and another and another, in serene discordant rivalry across the rooftops and into the indigo sky; that is an unforgettably poetic experience.
Oxford is famously rather self-absorbed, but can it really be true that nobody would find charm, interest and perhaps even some beauty in the call to prayer echoing across its domes and spires? Hardly anyone agrees any more with what those church bells represent, but we go on enjoying them. Can Oxford really not take any pleasure in the outward and aesthetic form which other people's beliefs take? Do they have to be sanctioned by Gibbon first? (source)
Even in Turkey, pre-dawn drumming is banned:
According to tradition, drummers stroll the streets every morning before dawn during Ramadan, loudly beating drums to wake believers for a light meal, called “sahur,” after which the daylong fasting begins.
Gazipaşa Mayor Cemburak Özgenç, said the ban on drummers was first implemented four years ago based on demands from the people. “Technology has given us alarm clocks, cell phones... There is no need for drummers, who filled a gap in the past. That is why we have imposed the ban.” (source)
There is an ongoing debate over whether to ban Ramadan drummers from performing their art due to complaints that the drum causes disturbance and has become unnecessary with the widespread use of alarm clocks. Many Turks, however, seem to stand against the banning of this centuries-old tradition and say Ramadan drummers carry the spiritual aspect of old Ramadans to our day.
Drummers complain that the Ramadan drumming tradition is fading into oblivion...
“This tradition is being forgotten every passing day, as it cannot stand against technology. Our people are not very sensitive toward traditions. We were met with great sympathy in the past, but many people believe today that drum beating is unnecessary because they have alarm clocks to wake them up,” said Ebuzer Kalaycı, who has been a Ramadan drummer for 10 years. (source)
Why are we accommodating Islam by respecting their traditions above those of all other religions?
Why is Islam the only religion being allowed to impose itself in the public arena?
Meanwhile, Jewish people celebrate their New Year this weekend with blasts on the ram's horn. But don't worry about being disturbed at 3 am, as most Jews will be fast asleep in their beds. Nor will most of us hear the blasts at all, as Jews, like most of us, believe that religion is a private affair, not to be imposed on others.
Most, but not all - Islam insists it must dominate and impose its ideology on us all.