In this op-ed for CNN, Ed Husain, author of The House of Islam: A Global History, writes about how “Ramadan used to be a time only for faith, family, food, fun and forgiveness.” However, the author points out, in the last few years, the holy month has unfortunately become a time of fear for many citing that “mosques, designed to be places of peace and piety, are increasingly targets for white supremacist terrorists and haters of Muslims.”
Here are some snippets from the powerful opinion piece:
— Ramadan used to be a time only for faith, family, food, fun and forgiveness. In these last few years, this holy month for Muslims and others has become a time of fear. Mosques, designed to be places of peace and piety, are increasingly targets for white supremacist terrorists and haters of Muslims… At these moments, rather than tone down their hatred, white supremacists up the ante. In the week after Christchurch, anti-Muslim hate crimes reported across Britain increased by a staggering 593%.
— It is in this environment that nearly 2 billion Muslims will enter Ramadan this coming week… Ramadan is also the month in which the Quran was divinely inspired to an Arabian merchant in 610CE during his spiritual retreat. The businessman Prophet Mohammed called his people away from the chaos and commerce of the city of Mecca to remember God in their trading and travels. That inspired text is the Quran. The Quran repeatedly calls its readers to reflect on creation and renew our commitment to doing goodness to humans and God. This is the spirit of Ramadan: there is nothing to fear, nobody to kill. Let Muslims be as they turn to worship the God of Socrates, Aristotle, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.
— We are the inheritors of a free world bequeathed to us by the prophets who called us to worship of God in Ramadan and the Enlightenment philosophers who shaped a tolerant, modern world. The terrorists wish to destroy this civilization of co-existence by spreading anti-Muslim hatred. We cannot let them: an attack on Islam and Muslims is an attack on all of us. If Ramadan loses its sanctity and safety in the West, what remains of civilization?
— This year saw the ongoing rise of anti-Muslim crimes, but this year also witnessed, for the first time in history, a Pope celebrating Mass openly in the Arabian Peninsula, birthplace of Islam. In Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, Muslim leaders welcomed Pope Francis. In that spirit of freedom of conscience, the bedrock of civilization, send a message to your Muslim friend, colleague, neighbor, doctor, postman, teacher or other and wish them Ramadan Karim, a noble Ramadan. We are all in this together.