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This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
It’s Ramadan and my mother is in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove preparing a big feast. She’s fasting even though she is a 64-year-old diabetic. As for myself? Earlier in the day, I had a huge fish and chips platter for lunch, but my Muslim family believes I’m fasting with them.
This has gone on for years.
During the month of Ramadan, most of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims will observe by basically not partaking in any vice for 30 days. From sunrise to sunset all able-bodied Muslims are required to “fast”; we are prohibited from eating, drinking (yes, even water), smoking, cursing, bad-mouthing, and any sexual behavior. Fasting during this month is one of the five pillars of Islam and not doing so can not only invite social ridicule within the Muslim community but in certain Muslim countries, can also lead to a fine or even being jailed. Most Muslims look forward to Ramadan every year because they see it as a religious cleanse that leaves them more pure and sets a tone for the rest of the year. That’s if you actually believe in the faith and practice it, which I don’t. But the Muslims around me don’t know that.
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Unfortunately, myself and many others like me dread Ramadan because it means another month of being dishonest to our Muslim families and friends. See, there are many reasons why someone who comes from a Muslim background doesn’t fast during Ramadan. They may still have faith in the religion but don’t take it as seriously as they should. They might think fasting is more for traditional Muslims and they consider themselves more of a casual Muslim. Another reason is they may have completely left the religion but haven’t “come out” to their Muslim community—something...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Vice
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