I’m wondering why food outlets close during the day in Ramadhan. Half the adult population of Oman are not Omani, and I would estimate that half of those are not Muslim. That’s hundreds of thousands of people who can’t buy a sandwich, for reasons I can’t really fathom. Of course, eating and drinking, or worse, smoking in public might be irritating for those who are fasting. But as a father who’s often cooked for his children while fasting, or been in an environment where he’s the only Muslim and happily watched others eating and drinking, I’m wondering: what’s the big deal here? This is not just pandering to non-Muslim readers, but also recognising the reality that for one week of the month, Muslim women don’t fast either. Neither do nursing mothers, small children, pregnant women, ill people, or in some cases, travelers. So why make a regulation that denies them the perfectly reasonable freedom to go out for coffee or lunch?
It’s not as if the average Muslim would or should be offended by watching someone else eat. As most people in this society live in large extended families, I’m sure the vast majority of fasting Muslims today will have a child, a woman, someone in their house who is not fasting. So would it really be so awful to drive past a restaurant and see some people having a meal? In public, perhaps it’s inconsiderate (and I hate to smell smoke when fasting, especially), but the blanket regulation of closing food outlets until just before dusk, is silly. And bad business. Also, I wonder what tourists (Oman’s priority diversified industry, remember) make of it.
“No problem for the believer ” but… ok, you got me 😀
hmmm … I’d completely agree, being myself a non muslim western, and imagining myself in such an environment as Oman during ramadan… but then I remember how it is for muslims here… and how we don’t adapt to them, and they would complain about it…
The point is… that no one forces them to be like us, eat like we choose, drink like we choose, pray like we choose (or not) and behave as we majoritary choose.
And also it’s a fact that Europeans in general don’t like muslim lifestyle. I said muslim lifestyle, not arab, pakistani or turkish lifestyle… mostly because islam gets so deeply into every single aspect of life of muslims that goes beyond ethnic differences.
We can respect it, we can let it grow in our societies (as we have done for decades, and just when niqabs and burqas appeared we reacted somehow), which is quite an indicative fact about what is our level of respect towards life choices that generally we dislike, … may it be more or less an intimate feeling.
But let’s admit it… It’s so much “not our stuff”!… the cultural, idiomatic, religious, traditional, anthropological and behavioural distance is damn HUGE.
Too much for the commonly uneducated people on both sides of the line, whatever their academic levels, who have no time or will to stop and think before roaring condemnations. Yes, I went down stating this so straight…. but let’s be realistic, please.
Also let’s admit that this happens even when anthropologically speaking it’s us, westerns, the anomaly in most cases.
…so no hard feelings please. Talking this way I am letting aside a whole load of historical, philosophical, religious and anthropological reasoning. But I am trying just to place human besides human… and stating what they do, how they do and why they do everything in life. And it’s like 1+1=2.
I may not like how many of my neighbours feel, think, vote or cook, and that doesn’t mean they have to hate me for it and apply a punishment… call me asocial, but not anti-someone.
After all, I am pretty sure the feeling may be mutual! and here i mean that also they dislike us, what we do, what we eat, what we drink, and what we believe… and no hard feelings from here, as far as respect rules.
Keep it as simple as it is…. and let people live… as far as they don’t force anyone to cross social lines.
Simplicity… such as, female nudity or beach naturism in the Middle East …and Harry Potter’s Dementor’s/LOTR’s Spectres of the Ring – styled female attires in the West, are redlines?…. so DON’T cross them… and find a middle meeting point.
Not so hard to understand.
Same would happen with Ramadan. For those not compulsed to follow it, as far as they don’t eat openly in public, there should be a respectful way of choice. Separation panels, pulled down shades, etc… a little bit of mutual respect it’s not so hard c’mon!
Anyway…. Ramadan Karim to all respectful muslims out there!
Aye… those who would not wish me the best for Christmas are not included in the goodwill wish.
Their attitude forced me to be less kind. Not my usual way, Sorry.