Ramadamadingdongdoo is the most dangerous time of the year…
Europe: Ramadan Roundup, 2018
- In France, the government, which previously vowed to reduce foreign influences on the practice of Islam in the country, approved visas for 300 imams from Algeria and Morocco to lead Ramadan services in French mosques.
- “Every message, no matter how poisonous the message is, should have the right to be expressed.” — Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
- “The Turkish minister of foreign affairs tried to teach me a lesson about my Islamic identity. It is going too far if a foreign state, which is far away, tries to teach the mayor of Rotterdam about Dutch law and how I should apply it.” — Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Muslims across Europe are marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, which in 2018 was observed between May 17 and June 15, in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar.
Ramadan, a major topic for public discussion in Europe this year, received considerable media coverage, a reflection of Islam’s rising influence.
Muslim leaders sought to leverage the media attention to showcase Ramadan — a time when Muslims abstain from eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset, to commemorate, according to Islamic tradition, the revelation of the Quran to Mohammed — as the peaceful nature of Islam in Europe.
European multiculturalists, normally strict enforcers of secularism when it comes to Christianity, made great efforts to draw up guidelines, issue instructions and carve out special privileges to ensure that Muslims were not offended by non-Muslims during the festival.
Breaking with the past, however, a growing number of European politicians publicly spoke out against Ramadan, especially regarding the adverse effects of prolonged fasting on school-aged children. The backlash, evidenced by the emergence of politically incorrect political parties in Europe, appears to reflect a growing wariness of runaway multiculturalism and the steady erosion of Western values.
Following is a brief summary of a few Ramadan-related occurrences in several European countries:
In Austria, the Secretary General of the Austrian People’s Party, Karl Nehammer, called for a ban on fasting for school-age children. He said that he had received “innumerable” reports from teachers about the welfare of children during Ramadan. “If religious rituals, regardless of religion, endanger the health of children, this is clearly going too far,” Nehammer said. “If religion is placed above the welfare of the child, that must stop.”