SHAFAQNA – A group of Oldham friends are hoping to challenge negative stereotypes of British Muslims by sharing the message of Ramadan.
Nanu Miah, Hushiyar Ali and Kabir Ahmed from Westwood want to help ‘eradicate racism’ by spreading the message of what the holy month is about.
The pals launched a Share Ramadan campaign ahead of the start of the 30-day fast on Wednesday, June 17, which sees Muslims refrain from eating between sunrise and sunset.
The campaign encourages Muslims to invite friends, neighbours and colleagues of different faiths to fast for a day and then invite their guest to their homes to break the fast.
One of the brains behind the campaign, Hushiyar Ali, said: â€œA lot of people who are not from the Muslim faith really want to try it because they think we are bonkers for fasting for that long and not drinking water.
â€œBut the whole idea of this is to create a dialogue between different people from different backgrounds and create a discussion about fasting and what it feels like.
â€œItâ€™s about breaking down barriers, preconceptions and learning about other religions and values.â€
All those who take up the Share Ramadan challenge are encouraged to take a picture of them sharing a meal and share it on social media using the hashtag ShareRamadan.
They can then nominate five other Muslim friends to take up the Share Ramadan challenge and invite guests into their homes.
â€œThe key thing with this campaign is the personal touch of inviting people into your home,â€ Hushiyar said. â€œBecause that is how people learn what it is to live as a British Muslim – by experiencing what we go through.â€
Hushiyar hopes social media will also help the campaign, which is in its second year, spread around the world.
He said: â€œThe idea is to make it go global, but at the same time focus on the three million Muslims in the UK.
â€œIn this current climate of Islamaphobia there is a lot of negative press about Muslims, but we want to help eradicate things like racism.â€
Ramadan will start in the UK on Wednesday and will end with Eid celebrations in mid July.
Visit shareramadan.com, facebook.com/shareramadan or @ShareRamadan on Twitter for more.