#Ramadan: ‘Solidarity Fasting’, Compulsion and Dhimmitude

A study in contrasts: A clueless (non-halaal!) pre fasting meal to show ‘solidarity’ with Muslims and an elderly Hindu man beaten by Pakistani police for not observing the Ramadan fast (Sindh Province, 2016)

One of the strangest trends of recent times is the rush by virtue-signalling Westerners to keep the Ramadan fast in ‘solidarity’ with the Muslim community. It even seems that this is something close to an official policy of the UK’s Liberal Democrat Party, with many members posting photos of their morning meal before beginning the daily fast. One of them were even forced to hastily apologize after Tweeting a picture with a few delicious looking rashers of bacon! Hint, when you try to curry favor, at least make sure that you do so in a halaal-compliant manner!
 
Perhaps the biggest question that we have to ask when it comes to ‘solidarity fasting’ is why it is only done for Ramadan? Jewish people observe their fasts without demanding that the rest of the world join in. So do Hindus, Jains and Orthodox Christians. Why do we see no ‘solidarity fasts’ in these instances?
 
I suspect that the answer lies in the deep seated desire among some Islamic supremacists to let no opportunity pass to demonstrate the superiority of Islam over all other faiths and ideologies. This desire can be clearly seen in the so-called ‘Code of Umar’. A document from the early years of Islam that the residents of non-Muslim towns and cities supposedly had to sign, if they wanted to escape with their lives, before surrendering to Muslim armies. After their surrender they would be known as ‘dhimmis’ (literally ‘protected ones’). This may sound rather charming, until you realize that what is in view here is the ‘protection’ commonly offered by the Mafia. It came at the price of punitive taxes and constant reminders (in the form of ritual humiliation) of your second-class status.
 
What does ‘dhimmitude’ have to do with fasting? Simply this: Islamic law makes it clear that fasting should be universally observed (except by the pregnant or the sick) in the lands of Islam. If you live where shari’a holds sway, fasting is not something that you choose to do, it is the law of the land! In places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan and many others, even having a small cup of water in the heat of the day during Ramadan could land you with a heavy fine or even a prison sentence. For non-Muslims in these countries fasting has nothing to do with ‘solidarity’. It is more a matter of: ‘Do as you’re told, or else!’
 
In non-Muslim countries this kind of heavy handed enforcement of Islamic norms is thankfully not an option, at least not yet. So the second best option is for Muslim organizations to campaign for non-Muslim people to observe the fast voluntarily (and to make a big song and dance about it). This way the message about the glories of Islam can still be spread far and wide, without so much as a fine or whipping being needed. Of course, the time for more punitive measures may come, but in the meantime roping in some ‘useful idiots’ to adhere to Islamic law will have to do.
 
For the sake of balance, it would be nice to see the Lib Dems  and other ‘solidarity fasters’ launching a campaign on behalf of the thousands of people across the Muslim world who are being forced, on pain of severe punishments, to keep a fast that has nothing to do with them. Although somehow I’m not holding my breath.



Please check out my very latest book, a novel called The House Built on Sand. In it I embark on a narrative exploration of some of the major issues surrounding Islamic history and the relationship between Islamic teaching and violence. Get your copy today! 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *