In the same boat as all other citizens

EMU press release on the pandemic and Ramadan 2020

EMU (Strasbourg) – Since the pandemic began, we have been watching the dramatic situation in Italy and France with great concern. The Muslims in Europe have supported the government measures to avert damage to the population. Together with all European citizens we hope that the threat of overloading our health systems can be prevented.

We welcome the fact that the first easing of restrictions on fundamental rights has now been determined.

However, requirements such as the obligation to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and various hygiene regulations remind us that our mosques are now reopening, but normal community prayer is almost impossible.

Attendant to this, German health minister Jens Spahn now points out that it can take years before a vaccine can be found. The word patience could therefore take on a new quality for all of us. As a consolation, people like to remember the old word of wisdom that the whole world is a mosque.

It is during this time that it becomes clear that we Muslims are in the same boat as all other European citizens. The blessings of Ramadan remain for us Muslims, while we cannot simply ignore the real situation around us. The restrictions on our mosques are more of a minor problem.

The existential questions between the desire for biological survival and dignity in dealing with the challenges of this crisis are now challenging us all.

Praying and reflection, retreating and social engagement are not contradictions in our daily lives. We urge Europe’s Muslims to continue to participate actively in the social debates about the consequences of the pandemic.May 4th, 2020

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