Ramadan awareness among non Muslims
For some reason during the month of Ramadan, it seems that the media is on a news feeding frenzy on anything negative, or shall we say a negative spin, that they can put on Muslims during this month. I can understand that it is a large religious event and it spans a whole month and the fact that many are interested in the aspect of 'fasting' for a month. But I do wish the media would give a proper explanation of Ramadan for other non Muslims. It is my experience that many non Muslims are intrigued on what goes on during this month and often I am more than happy to explain to them what Ramadan is but I am quite surprised by how little they know or how misinformed they were.
Many I speak to have the wrong assumption that as Muslims we encourage our very young children to fast or that pregnant mothers who are expecting fast. Both of which are untrue. I even had someone say to me that it is cruel how people cannot take their life saving medications to fast, which of course is again not true. This is all perpetuated by a lack of understanding and general ignorance to Ramadan but we should not blame the public at large as it surprise me still that schools and yes even work places do not teach an inform their pupils and employees about Ramadan and what it is and what it means to Muslims.
I will give you another example of how I'll I formed our public sector can be. During my time running this website, which I do as a passion, I received an email from a police constable who wanted to enquiry information of how to deal with a Muslim in custody during Ramadan and any special requirements that may need to be made. First let me say that I was extremely moved that the lengths that this constable went through to find out how to respect Islam and it's customs. It did occur to me that how was it possible that there was not some type of procedural document in place for police stations for staff to be aware of for use if any Muslims are in custody as just because sown one is in Harley does NOT mean they are guilty as we live in a society which grants us innocence until we are shown to be guilty. I will be contacting my local police stations and asking them regarding this as I would not want to have situations where police staff feel that these people are making some of these things up such as opening fasts at certain times. They should have a compass or at least know which way is Makah and also have a copy of Ramadan times so they know when they can eat ,etc. I know this may not affect many of you law abiding Muslims but to me a Muslim who wants to practice their religion should be given the full support they can be given
Workplaces need to learn more too. I am not advocating special treatment for Muslims at all as Ramadan needs to work alongside your lifestyle but I do feel that staff education could be better improved. Why oh why do they not consider opening later for some cafes and restaurants as sometimes Iftar can be quite late as it was in 2011 and by the time it opened everything was already shut.