According to Ruth Gledhill, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has suggested that non Muslims should also fast for the month of Ramadan to enhance understanding of their Muslim neighbours. He is quoted as saying,
"I urge people, particularly during Ramadan, to find out more about Islam, increase your understanding and learning, even fast for a day with your Muslim neighbour and break your fast at the local mosque. I would be very surprised if you didn’t find that you share more in common than you thought."
Well, I have to say that Boris Johnson and I are not usually on the same wavelength, but for once I thought he was onto something. A while back, I was a tutor for a distance learning course and one of my students was a young Muslim woman. She often phoned me during Ramadam and would say that she had half an hour before she could break her fast and could I distract her from the hunger pangs by discussing literature ( you'll be glad to know I have my uses!)
My time tutoring Hajra really made me think about the commitment that Islam requires and about how many Christians show similar dedication. She was also very respectful about my faith and apologised when studying some of the books for her "ignorance" about Christianity, ironically she actually knew more than most of my non Muslim students put together.
Come to think of it, wouldn't it be nice if people also visited Churches during Easter? Perhaps they would learn more about their Christian neighbours at the local church and maybe learn that we are just ordinary people and share more in common than we think...
( If anyone is interested in a little fasting,Ramadam started on August the 21st and finishes on September the 19th. Still plenty of time to follow Boris Johnson's advice!)