DF: Ramadan should be adjusted to fit school calendar
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a time of fasting for Muslims worldwide. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of the Islam religion, and Ramadan was the month in which the initial verses of the Koran were said to be shown to the Prophet Mohammed.
The dates that Ramadan falls on each year are not fixed, due to the fact that it is a moving holiday which is dependent on the moon. It moves forward 10 or 11 days every year. This year, Ramadan falls conveniently during the summer holidays and ends on August 7 with the Eid celebration.
But according to Dansk Folkeparti (DF), Muslims living in Denmark should break with their brethren across the globe and agree that the holy month always falls during the summer break.
“If Ramadan always fell in the summer break, the conflicts it creates every year could be avoided,” DF's integration spokesperson, Martin Henriksen, told Ekstra Bladet newspaper.
Henriksen called on Muslims to voluntarily adopt what he called a “practical solution to a real problem”.
“Every time Ramadan comes up during the school year, there are problems because the children aren’t eating and are unfocused,” he said. “There are debates as to whether there should be a special Ramadan holiday in Denmark, which of course should not happen.”
Henriksen said that by voluntarily agreeing to attach their holy celebration to the school calendar, Muslims would show that they are “willing to be accommodating to the country in which they live”.
Henriksen stressed that he is not looking to legislate the time of year that Ramadan falls in Denmark.
“It would make no sense for parliament to legislate about other cultures' religious holidays,” he said. “It is something that Muslims themselves should offer.”
Henriksen admitted that some may not take his suggestion of moving a sacred holiday seriously.
“I know that some will surely laugh a little at what I am suggesting, but it would solve some very specific problems,” he said.