#RamadanAtHome Campaign Launched By Prominent British Muslim Personalities Online25 Apr 2020
A number of well-known British Muslims have launched a campaign in support of the efforts to ease the pressures upon the NHS. The campaign urges Muslims to observe the Holy Month of Ramadan at home to limit the spread of the coronavirus, whose impacts are already putting immense pressure on healthcare services. The campaign promotes the efforts of numerous mosques and Muslim communities that are preparing to set up online events, while also giving tributes to the doctors and nurses, many of whom are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME).
The campaign is not only aimed at protecting Muslims and the wider UK from the spread of the coronavirus, but also dispelling the falsities spread by far-right groups in recent weeks. Outlets and influencers linked to far-right media have picked up their efforts in claiming that Muslims are not adhering to social isolation.
This will be a very different Ramadan
A group of leading British Muslim personalities have come together to support the #StayHomeSaveLives campaign that aims to inform people about the importance of staying indoors and practicing social isolation. The campaign has been launched in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus and to ease the pressures faced by the NHS which, in recent weeks, has found itself overwhelmed by the rapid increase of patients and the shortages of protective equipment.
Titled #RamadanAtHome, the campaign has put together a video featuring well-known names including journalist Mehdi Hasan, singer Rizwan Ahmed, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Member of Parliament Naz Shah, Author Konnie Huq and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, as well as numerous NHS, police and other frontline workers, all of whom called on Muslims to observe Ramadan from their homes.
The campaign came alongside numerous other campaigns encouraging Muslims to spend Ramadan at home, as well as offering ways to make the experience a less lonely one.
The Muslim Council of Britain has issued a series of recommendations and guidance for Muslims in the United Kingdom as Ramadan starts. Tech-savvy Muslims and entrepreneurs have also sought to bring the spirit of community to Muslims who may feel lonely this year’s Ramadan. Many mosques and imams will be holding online sermons, discussions and prayer sessions for their congregations. Online Iftar events using apps such as Zoom, HouseParty and others are also being planned.
Meanwhile, community leaders warned that many mosques and Islamic charities will experience difficulties in fundraising, and that some mosques that were shut down may not reopen. To prevent this, they have looked into innovative ways to raise money. Among those is the Human Appeal which has launched the Now Is the Time to Give campaign.
This Ramadan takes place during a time of growing Islamophobia
Experts have warned that the current healthcare crisis is being used by far-right groups to stoke tensions with false allegations that mosques may not shut down for Ramadan like churches were for Easter or downright accusing Muslims of holding “secret mosques” and gatherings in violation of the lockdown. Comments made by a number of right-wing personalities that Ramadan will result in a spike of coronavirus were also criticised for being unnecessarily alarmist.
Thus, the campaign aims at not only informing Muslims about Ramadan during an epidemic, it also aims at informing non-Muslims of what Muslims are doing to prevent the spread of the outbreak, dispelling misinformation in the process.
There is no doubt that the Ramadan of 2020 will be a very different one. Unable to observe it in traditional ways, many Muslims in the UK and around the world are still finding ways to stay true to the spirit of the holy month, and the community spirit that it brings.