Fear & Racism is a by-product of ignorance & lack of cultural education

Fear & Racism is a by-product of ignorance & lack of cultural education

In less than 2 weeks the month of Ramadan will begin and many of us are starting to make preparations.

Ramadan is a holy month observed by Muslims worldwide, marked by fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. It is a time of spiritual growth and self-discipline, as well as a time for giving back to those in need. However, in recent years, the observance of Ramadan has been overshadowed by the rise of Islamophobia.

What is Ramadan and why is it important?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, during which Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. This fasting is not only a physical act of abstaining from food and drink, but also a spiritual practice that allows individuals to focus on prayer, reflection, and self-improvement. It is a time to strengthen one's relationship with Allah and to seek forgiveness for past sins.

How does Islamophobia impact the observance of Ramadan?

Islamophobia, or the fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims, has led to discrimination, prejudice, and violence against Muslims around the world. This has created a hostile environment for Muslims to freely practice their faith, including observing Ramadan. The negative stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam have made it challenging for Muslims to feel safe and accepted during this sacred month. I know as a mum I fear for my son who is at university away from home & concerned he might be flinched on his way home from the library or football, just because he's a Pakistani Muslim Boy. These are supposed to be the best days of his life and I don't want to tell him to go straight home after lectures as that's simply not life.

Why is it important to highlight the significance of Ramadan?

By highlighting the significance of Ramadan, we can educate others about the true meaning and purpose of this holy month. It is an opportunity to dispel myths and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims, and to promote understanding and acceptance. By sharing the beauty and importance of Ramadan, we can foster a sense of unity and compassion among all people, regardless of their faith.

How does Sikhana highlight the significance of Ramadan to the wider community?

Our Ramadan Food Parcels which I have been carrying out every year with a great team of volunteers made up of friends, family & neighbours, since Covid, is my way of changing perceptions of Islam and Muslims.

Every Saturday we provide a 3 course home cooked meals to local families around where I live, irrespective of faith to showcase our concern and contribution to the community we live in. Often muslims, particularly muslim women are accused of not integrating and not doing our bit by the mainstream media, I hope that through this initiative I can change that.

This year I am reaching out to the wider community by providing them with an information pack with details on how we execute this exercise with the key objective to try and help even more families beyond the vicinity I am able to cover.

As we celebrate Ramadan, let us remember the values of peace, love, and compassion that are at the core of Islam. Let us stand together against Islamophobia and work towards a world where all individuals can practice their faith freely and without fear. Ramadan Mubarak!

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