09 August 2010

Ramadan Will Soon Be Here

A good friend of mine, Professor Elizabeth McNamer of Rocky Mountain College, wrote an interesting  but incomplete article on Ramadan that appeared in Sunday's Gazette.

It may be that she had in mind, perhaps, to remind the comparatively few Muslims that live in Montana what their obligations were, but I suspect she had us common infidels in the uppermost part of her mind when she carefully outlined Islam and the month of fasting and behaving decently our Muslim friends call Ramadan.

In addition, they are to read the Quran and attend their local mosque. I guess it's something like Lent for liturgical-minded Christians, except that it occurs in late Summer/Fall in the northern hemisphere.

I think the good Professor left out some important questions that us infidels would like to know. For example: Is there anything that we should be prepared for in order to avoid embarrassment? You know, like our Jewish friends do when we inadvertently wish them a Merry Christmas. Or, perhaps more seriously, do Muslims forgo killing each other and the rest of us during Ramadan? Must we infidels not kill them during this month? Dr McNamer did suggest that the insane do not have to follow the rules for fasting. Would that give the killers on either side an excuse?

The question on killing has been asked by Pope Benedict XVI at Regensburg a few years ago. But as far as I can tell, no one has given a reasonable answer. Perhaps she will take up her formidable pen again when Ramadan comes to a close.

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