Simple ways to be more respectful towards your fasting friends during Ramadan


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/12/simple-ways-to-be-more-respect.html


#2

11 posts were split to a new topic: “Some vegans”


"Some vegans"
"Some vegans"
#7

I always feel bad for them here in Seattle and parts north when it manages to be in late spring/early summer cause of the long daylight hours and it is a gripe I have heard from the Muslim neighbors during the annual night out party.


#9

Which is kinda South. 5:11 to 21:07 compared to sunrise at 5:00 and sundown 21:53 right now. And it’s not even midsummer and we are not even (really) near Scandinavia,

Though I’ve heard that some do the practical thing and take the times of Mecca.


#16

I live in “coastal urban liberal educated elite” Seattle. Believe me, the aggressive/defensive meat-eater is well represented here. They are everywhere. That you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re rare.

So how about more thoughts about respecting our Muslim friends during Ramadan, everyone?


#17

Thanks, Orenwolf. Sorry if my anecdotal observation resulted in a derail.

They’re rare in my anecdotal experience compared to others, just as having Muslim co-workers and friends are common in my anecdotal experience compared to others. For those for whom the opposite is true regarding observant Muslims, this cartoon serves a useful purpose. It really covers it all when it comes to the two-way street of respect in a multi-cultural Western society.


#18

Ramadan isn’t the same for every muslim btw.

My direct co-worker and proxy (my work-wife as my other colleagues call it, my real SO doesn’t approve :wink: ) is a devout muslim woman and observes ramadan strictly, waking up at 3 a.m. to eat. I often forget she’s fasting because we usually go eating lunch together.

I have 2 other muslim women in my team. Of these two, one doesn’t fast, the other does not eat but drinks coffee and water.

And nowadays I have syrian applicants/clients who fast an arbitrary number of days with various theological justifications.

In my experience asking a muslim why (s)he is fasting is no problem but you shouldn’t ask why (s)he ISN’T fasting during Ramadan. There are (often proscribed) reasons for not fasting that could make esp. women quite uncomfortable if they’re pressed for answers (i.e. pregnancy or menstruation).


#19

Panel four is good advice regarding dealing with anyone you know who has religious observances of any type.


#20

Prescribed ≠ proscribed. They are practically opposite, in fact.


#21

Proscribed is correct though. I meant proscribed by religious law: pregnant women don’t need to fast, menstruating women aren’t allowed to fast according to mainstream sunni doctrine.


#22

So in general, if you’re being normal-level polite to people anyway, you shouldn’t change your behaviour at all.

And if you’re not being polite to people, you’re probably not going to take this advice anyway.


#23

Then your wording was off. You seemed to speak of proscribed reasons not to fast (which doesn’t make much sense - it works better with “prescribed”), not of reasons for fasting to be proscribed.


#24

ooooh I love being lectured like a two-year old.


#25

Didn’t know this was Clarion West. I explained myself. I’m sure you’re able to cope. Perhaps you should start your own thread about grammar naziing?


#26

Sorry, different words used in place of one another as if they were synonyms is a pet peeve of mine, I can’t always refrain from giving remarks. I have the same problem with “then” vs “than” for example.


#27

Than the internets must bee an awe full plaice four ewe!


#28

Such a good post! If I could add a couple tips from my own experience of fasting for Ramadan both in Western countries and the Middle East:

  • If you’re having dinner with them, DO try to make sure they can get at least a small snack RIGHT at iftar (fast-breaking) time. I know it can seem like no big deal to make them wait longer – after all, they’ve been fasting all day! – but being stuck waiting longer than necessary is probably the most frustrating part of fasting.

  • DON’T!!! Passive-aggressively be like “OH I didn’t realize you were one of THOSE Muslims” like you’re suddenly suspicious of them because they fast?! Honestly.

  • DO try to be patient with a little bit of hangriness close to sundown. For me personally, the awareness that practically everyone is a bit annoyed but trying their absolute best to be decent to folks around them is one of the most lasting spiritual reminders of Ramadan in a Muslim-majority nation. After all, Muslim or not, Ramadan or not, we’re all going through personal stuff and trying our best all the time (I’d like to think).


#29

Some of these rules of being ‘normal-level polite’ aren’t universally understood or taught.

I grew up in an area where different religions and cultures were barely acknowledged or talked about, and, for many years, I had limited contact with people different from myself. I’m sure there are many times that I said/did something clueless and/or rude without knowing it was clueless and/or rude.

Believe it or not, there are people out there who want to do the right thing but just aren’t educated in some areas about how to do that.


#30

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