Ramadan 2015 Debate: How long should Muslims fast?

As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches, and British Muslims prepare for four weeks of fasting during day

Muslims at the East London Mosque break their fast after a long day of no food or water.
Muslims at the East London Mosque break their fast after a long day of no food or water.

light hours, a perennial debate on changing the Ramadan observance times in northern regions has sprung up again.

Dr Usama Haswan, an Islamic researcher from anti-extremism group Quilliam, has said that it would make more sense for Muslims in the UK to follow Mecca timings, as daylight lasts much longer this far north than it does in the Middle East

Dr Hasan said that Islamic law is about balance, and reducing the fasting hours to something more reasonable is more sensible. However, things get worse the further north you go. In Aberdeen, more than 500 miles north of London, daylight will last for around 18 hours during Ramadan. But even with a lengthy fast for British Muslims, the vast majority are adamant that they will observe it, no matter how difficult it is.

‘Recruiter’ of UK jihadis: I regret opening the way to Isis

The “godfather” of the British jihadi movement, who recruited dozens of young men to fight in foreign wars, has said he now regrets opening the way for people to join terror groups such as Islamic State and al-Qaida.

Abu Muntasir, 55, who lives in Suffolk, was one of the first influential propagandists in the UK for a radical Islamist message. Active in the 1980s and 1990s, he helped to radicalise “thousands” of young Muslims, encouraging many of them to travel to fight in wars in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Burma, Bosnia and Chechnya.

Among the first to invite speakers to the UK from abroad who preached violence and hatred to disaffected Muslims, he distributed speeches from hate preachers Ali al-Timimi, now serving a life sentence in the US for inciting terrorism, and the late Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a controversial CIA drone attack in Yemen that also left his children dead.

Abu Muntasir in Deeyah Khan’s television documentary: “If people want to call me a coward, fine – I’m a coward.” Photograph: ITV
Abu Muntasir in Deeyah Khan’s television documentary: “If people want to call me a coward, fine – I’m a coward.” Photograph: ITV

Speaking to the Observer, Alyas Karmani said that to tackle the numbers of young people leaving the UK for Syria, Iraq and Libya, it was important that the debate should change to understanding the human elements at play. “It’s not about ideals – 90% of them never subscribe to the ideals – it’s other factors that are a draw. This is the new rock and roll; jihad is sexy. The kid who was not very good-looking now looks good holding a gun. He can get a bride now, he’s powerful. The Isis gun is as much a penis extension as the stockbroker with his Ferrari.

School Bans Pupils from Fasting in Ramadan

A primary school in east London has drawn criticism for banning Muslim pupils from fasting during Ramadan at school. In a letter from Barclay Primary School, parents were informed that while the school appreciated what Ramadan meant to Muslims, they would be banning the requirement to fast on school grounds.

“We have sought guidance and are reliably informed that in Islamic Law children are not required to fast during Ramadan, only being required to do so when they become adults,” the letter from the Leyton school said. The school said although they understood that the age of adulthood was disputed, “in Islamic Law the health of an individual [was] the first priority”.

“Previously, we have had a number of children who became ill and children who have fainted or been unable to fully access the school curriculum in their attempts to fast.”

The decision has sparked criticism from some members of the Muslim community. A spokesperson from the Muslim Association of Britain told Mail Online that parents had the right over the final choice on fasting.Letter

Two Girls Murdered in Texas Taxi: Were They Honor Killings?

The chilling emergency call opens the documentary “The Price of Honor”, which recounts the lives of two vivacious American teenagers growing up in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas, and their attempts to escape the grip of an Egyptian father who planned Muslim marriages.
Honor violence is a crime without a name in the United States. No data is collected on its prevalence, many people think it happens in countries far, far away from the United States, experts on gender-based violence said.

Linda Sarsour: Why this has been the worst year for American Muslims since 9/11

The number of hate crimes against members of the Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities has dramatically increased. There is a growing disconnect between freedom of speech and the freedom to practice religion without fear or intimidation: Increasingly, irresponsible and rhetorical bullying is leading to violent acts against a vulnerable minority.
Recent articles have questioned the shady practices of FBI counterterrorism strategies: Informants have been sought out and coerced through torture; fictitious entrapment scenarios have been created; and in the midst of this there are still many unanswered questions about the shooting of a black Muslim man under surveillance by a joint terrorism task force in Boston. Where was law enforcement when a white man from Georgia plantedProtesters a bomb in a city park in order to sow fear against Muslims?

Judge Won’t Override New York MTA Political Ad Ban for Group’s Ad

NEW YORK — New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority need not display a controversial advertisement from an anti-Muslim group on its buses, a federal judge ruled on Friday, after the agency voted to ban all political ads from buses and subways.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative had argued that the injunction should remain in place because the new MTA policy was unconstitutional and designed to silence the group.

NYC: Settlement in principle in Muslim surveillance lawsuit

NEW YORK — The city has reached the outlines of a settlement with Muslims who challenged police surveillance as an unconstitutional and stigmatizing intrusion on their religious rights, a court filing says.
The ACLU and the NYCLU are among the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the Brooklyn federal case. The lawsuit was among legal actions that followed reports by The Associated Press that revealed how city police infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques and otherwise spied on Muslims as part of a broad effort to prevent terrorist attacks.

Facing Backlash, U.S. Muslims Counter With New Advertising Campaign

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In California’s capital city of Sacramento this month, stark black billboards loomed over highways and faded commercial strips, offering solace to the troubled: “Looking for the answers in life?” one asked. “Discover Muhammad.”
But the campaign by the mainstream Islamic Circle of North America, which is sponsoring billboards in other cities to publicize the Muslim prophet’s message, could also spark a backlash amid a spike in anti-Islamic sentiment marked by protests, advertising campaigns and sometimes vandalism and violence.

Rights Group Condemns Colorado Bike Club’s ‘Anti-Ramadan’ Barbecue

DENVER — A civil rights group said on Friday it was deeply disturbed by reports that a Colorado motorcycle club has distributed flyers for an anti-Ramadan barbecue, including a pig roast, this weekend “in defiance of the Islamic holiday of Ramadan.”
Scott Levin, regional director of the Mountain States Anti-Defamation League (ADL), said in a statement the “open bike party” was being advertised by the Colorado Springs chapter of the Infidels Motorcycle Club.

CAIR Good News Alert: Senate Adopts McCain-Feinstein Torture Ban

Senate Adopts McCain-Feinstein Torture Ban
Torture Vote
If signed into law, the National Defense Authorization Act will end the CIA’s use of the simulated drowning technique called “water-boarding,” stress positions, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, and violent enemas and forced rectal feeding (proven to have no medical benefits). It would also require that the International Committee of the Red Cross have access to anyone detained by the U.S. thus ending the government’s secret prison program.
“Torture is not an American value and the Senate has listened to the American people and reaffirmed that fact,” said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw. “As a nation, we momentarily lost our way in relying on torture in the face of terror and uncertainty, but are now more aware of how wrong torture is after having witnessed what terrible actions were committed in our name.”