Ramadan in lockdown
The Muslim month of fasting is taking place under unusual circumstances this year. Due to the coronavirus crisis mosques in many countries are remaining closed during prayer times, and pilgrimages and public breaking of the fast are forbidden. How can the meaning of Ramadan nonetheless be preserved?
Isolated but more united
Those who celebrate Ramadan are not necessarily more lonely in the corona crisis, columnist Pierre Haski points out on the website of radio station France Inter:
“Like the other major religions, Islam initially found it difficult to come to terms with the increasing threat posed by the pandemic. Accepting that a virus can interrupt collective rituals is difficult for those who believe in the power of religious absolutism and attach divine meaning to any unusual event. ... This year it will be hard to celebrate due to the lockdown and the economic crisis. A very different value is in the limelight this year, namely solidarity: a necessary asset by means of which believers and non-believers unite against a common enemy.”
Islam is a religion for hard times
Now Muslims must reflect on religion all the more, the Islamic-conservative Yeni Şafak urges:
“The coronavirus has influenced Ramadan, the pilgrimage and our Friday prayers. In fact it didn't just influence them, it has destroyed them, so to speak! ... Now it is our duty to be decent and recognise the wisdom of this situation. To learn a lesson. To be a lantern that offers a way out of this disaster which is burying humanity in darkness in every respect, a way out of this Kafkaesque despair, this surreal absurdity. ... Islam is a religion for difficult times. ... In the moments of great destruction and disasters that rock all humanity it is the safest haven and the most promising refuge.”