Thursday, May 16, 2013

French Muslims unite on astronomical calculations for Ramadan

by Salman Hameed

Posts should resume their regularity here. Lets start with the news that The French Muslim Council (CFCM) has decided to start using astronomical calculations to set the dates for Ramadan. Hallelujah - oh I mean, Alhamdulillah!. It's about time, but still good to hear some common sense trust (faith?) in science. From our friend Tom Heneghan:
Council President Mohammad Moussaoui said the old method played havoc with French Muslims' schedules for work, school and festivities. France's five million Muslims are the largest Islamic minority in Europe. 
"Now all this will be simplified," he said, and promptly announced the Ramadan fast would begin on July 9 this year. 
Turkey began using scientific calculations to set the start of Ramadan decades ago. Muslims in Germany, who are mostly of Turkish origin, and those in Bosnia also use this method. 
Muslim minorities elsewhere in Europe often start Ramadan according to its beginning in their countries of origin, or in Saudi Arabia. That can lead to different ethnic groups starting it on different days, even in the same country.
"This is historic. Now all Muslims in France can start Ramadan on the same day," said Lyon Muslim leader Azzedine Gaci.
Read the full article here.

In other news, Pakistan will most likely maintain the excitement of shunning science in favor of naked eye testimonies. For last year's adventures, see this earlier post: Strife amongst Maulvis give astronomers a rare opening in Pakistan.

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