FaithWorld

Algerian court clears Christians of charge of flouting Ramadan by eating during day

ramadan 1Two Christian men on trial in Algeria for eating during daylight in the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan were acquitted on Tuesday, a verdict their supporters said was a triumph for religious freedom.

The two men, members of Algeria’s small Protestant community, were charged with offending public morals for eating at the building site where they were working before the Ramadan fast had been broken for the day. (Photo: Food shoppers in Algiers on first day of Ramadan, August 11, 2010/Louafi Larbi)

After the judge in the small town of Ain El-Hammam, about 150 km (93.21 miles) east of the Algerian capital, ruled they were innocent, a group of about seven Protestants standing on the steps of the courthouse shouted “Hallelujah!”

ramadan 2Read the full story here.

This article on Slate.fr says Algeria is clamping down on Muslims who do not fast during Ramadan. A local newspaper, Le Quotidien d’Oran, has an op-ed piece (from a writer in Paris) calling for the freedom to fast or not. A group called Mali in neighbouring Morocco has a Facebook page in French where it argues that human rights include the right to eat during Ramadan in a Muslim country.

In another Ramadan case, two women in Indonesia’s Aceh province were caned for selling food during daylight hours in the month.

Stock markets in Muslim countries usually rally during Ramadan-study

datesRamadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar marked with fasting and prayer, is also an uplifting time for stock markets in predominantly Muslim countries, according to a study by the University of New Hampshire. (Photo: A woman displays dates, a traditional food to break the Ramadan fast at sunset, in Amman on August 8, 2010/Muhammad Hamed)

Stock markets in Oman, Turkey, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Malaysia, Bahrain, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia generated average returns of 38 percent during the month of Ramadan over the years 1989 through 2007, according to the report, compared with their average 4.3 percent returns the rest of the year.

Observance of Ramadan this year is expected to start on or about Aug. 11 and finish on or about Sept. 10.

Dry spell casts pall over Ramadan in India

foodseller (Photo: Food sellers on Ramadan evening near old Delhi’s Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque), 23 Aug 2009/Parth Sanyal)

For Imrat Salaam, the holy month of Ramadan couldn’t have come at a tougher time: India’s weakest monsoon in decades has hiked food prices, and her eldest son, the main breadwinner, lost his job in the economic downturn.

The start of the fasting month, the holiest in the Muslim calendar and which began on Saturday in most countries, is usually a joyful occasion, but the mood at the Salaam household in Delhi’s old quarters is somber, as the family is unable to put together a decent meal to break their day-long fast.