comment Expresses the opinion of the writer.
The evening of April 20 marks the end of Ramadan. 30 years ago, Ramadan was unknown to many Norwegians. But as the balloon of Islam grows larger, this holiday occupies an increasingly large place in Norwegian society.
Every day through the media, especially NRK, we can read about Ramadan.
We can read about it Six things we should know about Eid. We can join The feast after Lent. we can Test ourselves About how much we can own. We can read how he wants to swear Decorating the streets of Oslo Regarding the month of Ramadan. Football must be organized for it to happen Breaks for fasting players. For the first time it will be organized Prayer times in Sandefjord. Pupils at Drammen High School would do just that Teaching arrangement to Ramadan.
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Fasting is a custom that came from Judaism to Islam. But unlike Islam, the Jews do not have any fasts or the Sabbath. They also do not have media coverage in NRK.
Not even Nowruz, the Persian New Year celebration that takes place for two weeks from March 20, is mentioned on NRK or in public.
Inflate the balloon of Islam
There are people of other religions in Norway. They also have rituals, fasts, ceremonies and feasts while working and studying. They practice their religion in particular. None of them wanted to change the football routine or Karl Johan’s dressing up. None of them would leave the classroom or invite patients to sleep at home.
Lilly Bandehi came to Norway from Iran in 1988 as a political refugee. Pandehi is a writer and speaker, with a special interest in topics such as freedom of expression and religion. Bandehy has previously written for both VG and Aftenposten and helped found LIM (Equality, Integration and Diversity) and ex-Muslims in Norway. In 2019, she received the Born Free award.
When politicians and the media, led by NRK, inflate the balloon of Islam, they discriminate against people who have other religions.
Ethnic Norwegians who have Christianity as part of their culture also feel more and more outsiders in their own country.
They may feel that there will be more mosques, smaller churches, more Ramadan and less Easter. In addition to the increase in violence and insecurity in schools and on the streets.
People get annoyed, but they don’t have the space to talk about it. They fear being called a racist. They think, but they cannot express their thoughts. Norwegians are not racist, but giving too much space in society to Islam can create racism.
Something is shaking
Also, the great public celebration of the month of Ramadan creates a lot of tension and anger among those who have fled Islamic countries and come here, with a desire to live in a secular society.
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Ramadan is colored pink in the media, especially in NRK. They portray it as a month when there should be less war, Muslims should get closer to God, one should be good, give alms, help others, lie less and resort to less violence. But is this true?
For many of us who have experienced Islam up close, there is something troubling.
Ramadan reminds us of violence, beatings, flogging and lying. During Ramadan, everything becomes tougher for ordinary people, especially women. The imams, Hezbollah, morality police, and other clerics became more dominant.
A simple mistake like having smoke in your hand or a glass of water could be punished with imprisonment or public flogging. The women’s hair was more seductive than usual and many women stayed inside.
A lock of hair, a smile, or a look can be punished because it arouses desire in a man.
I want to talk about some of my Ramadan experiences as a young girl in Iran.
I was about ten years old and wore a light green dress with short sleeves that came to my knees. I was playing and running up and down the stairs when I was interrupted by an old man sitting by the pool getting ready for evening prayers. He yelled at me and ran after me to hit me with a stick.
He had fasted all day, and now he saw me and was tempted.
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Fortunately, the mother came out. I stopped and told him he was an old man who could be my grandfather. She said that it was he who sinned, not me. The old man got angry at his mother. He thought I wasn’t dressed decently, because I was 10 and ready for marriage.
At the time I didn’t understand it, but later I realized if I aroused a man’s desire I was going to hell. My hair and my body is a sin.
And even if you have to cover up under normal circumstances, you should be almost invisible during Ramadan.
I learned that millions of women have almost no youth. When they are nine years old, they are females. The minimum age for marriage in Islam is nine years.
The imam on the white donkey
My childhood home was next to the mosque my father helped build. My father and the other men worked hard on a farm, and the women and children took care of the house and the livestock. At that time, there was no electricity or gas for cooking.
The imam came in Ramadan with a black turban on his white donkey. Hire a little boy. The imam sat with his back straight and his arms outstretched so that people would kiss him with blessings.
The imam and the donkey stayed with us during the month of Ramadan. He slept well all day, and in the evening he went to the mosque and led the prayers.
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The mother, who has seven children, ran to prepare saffron rice, mutton broth and “halva” (saffron rice porridge). Sometimes she would order us children to hunt the chickens that she slaughtered for the imam’s meals. Her face was red and sweaty in front of the flames as she cooked. She was fasting like the rest of us.
We children had to calm down and not disturb the imam in his sleep. It was summer and hot above 40 degrees. The days of fasting were long. In the evenings, father and mother worked all day without a break. On the other hand, the imam was relaxed and at ease. He went to the mosque to talk about hell and fire and sin.
And when they returned home, the mother and daughters were not allowed to eat with the imam and the men. We had to wait until after we ate. We were allowed to eat leftovers or mother’s rice porridge. When the men returned to the mosque, we were given a little room to breathe freely.
And at the end of the month of Ramadan, the imam collected “zakat” for those who did not fast a day or two. He received gifts or coins from people who had no food the next day.
Imamullah left full and satiated with a few extra kilos around the waist of his white donkey. He had an extra donkey used to carry gifts from those who were sacrificed.
It was important for the imam to visit the countryside, whatever the cost. The people who stayed were poorer than they had been before he came, but they were happy that they could keep the shingles away—at least for a while.
I experienced Ramadan as the month in which you lie the most. Many say they are fasting, but they are eating in secret. They have to pretend otherwise they can be accused of being bad Muslims. Then they must pay a fine to the mosque, flogging or imprisonment. And if it happens again, you can be found guilty of blasphemy.
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Ramadan imposes strict rules on people. In many parts of the world you are required to follow strict rules, otherwise you risk losing your job. However, there are exceptions for people who are severely ill or who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Ramadan is not all rosy. Many of us who live in Norway and are Muslims, Muslims or live in a Muslim country, have experienced bad things in connection with Ramadan. We suffered from strict rules and collective coercion.
An imposed paradise is hell in itself.
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