The Christian world ended the annual fasting just a few days ago, and I am certain that no one who has a relationship with a Christian or deals with a fasting Christian worker has even noticed it. I say this based on a long experience spanning almost 60 years in more than one society and one country.
The fasting of a Christian is silent and does not bother anyone else, and their work is not affected or their productivity is reduced. My workers did not make me feel one day that I had to ‘submit’ to the conditions of their fasting and consider them seriously or appreciate me for tolerating their fasting.
I also noticed by chance that they are fasting because when food was offered to them, they apologized for not accepting and said they are fasting. I did not see them nervous or extremely impatient or offered excuses or complained about stomach pain.
They do not come to work late under the pretext of fasting, or lack productivity under the pretext ‘I am tired’ but often with them the nature takes its course because of the beautiful spirituality which many of us miss in our societies. For example, they do not ask others, even in their most hardline societies to close their restaurants or not to eat in front of them.
The non-Muslim countries do not slander those who break fasting even if he is a non-Muslim, and does not imprison them because they erred and injured the feelings of the kind believer, feeling that becomes harsh when they come to the land of infidels, where we find them completing their fasting and adapting with all aspects of life, but once they return to their homelands, they change to their old habits.
We need to promote from the pulpits of our mosques and through all the media a tolerant Islam that accepts the other as it is. Why do we not fast in our countries and act like hundreds of millions of Muslims who fast in non-Muslim countries? Why do we not become good Muslims, tolerant and cope with all situations when we travel to a non-Muslim country in Ramadan, and why don’t we feel that our fasting is not affected if we see a restaurant serving food, and we feel the opposite when we return to Kuwait?
Why don’t we fast quietly with love and respect as millions of Muslims in other countries of the world such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey and Tunisia do, without undue stress or palatable violence? Why should we be late to work in the morning so that it affects our productivity in Ramadan, and the interests of human beings are delayed for a whole month, and this is reflected even on non-Muslims who live among us?
Is not work worship? Is not the pursuit of livelihood worship? Will not the national income of the state be low if productivity is reduced? How can we think of huge projects such as the Silk Region while we are so religiously hardened? I do not ask for much more than the fasting of Kuwaitis in Kuwait is like their fasting in London, whether they are employees or visitors and this is applied to non-Muslims in Kuwait.
Therefore, there is no need for all this unjustified extremism. Let us make our fast civilized, tolerant, loving, not cruel or violent to the extent we deny others their rights to live a normal life.
By Ahmad alsarraf