Non-Muslim students in US school fast in solidarity with Muslim colleagues


WASHINGTON - A number of Non-Muslim students in a US school fasted in solidarity with their Muslim colleagues as the end of Ramadan nears, which marks the end of the holy month cherished by the Islamic community around the world.

The over 200 students and staff from Maine East High School in Illinois said the move was also meant to encourage close cooperation among all religions, a section of International media reported.

According to CBS News Chicago, the teams took part in the Ramadan-inspired event to boost diversity and inclusion. The Muslim community in the US had previously been subjected to discrimination, especially during the reigns of Donald Trump.

The students fasted just before Laylat al-Qadr, or the "Night of Destiny," which is the most sacred in the holy month of Ramadan that marks the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. It is the night of the 15th day of Shaban in the Islamic calendar, CBS reported.

"I see her doing it every day, and I think it's really cool how she likes – the self-discipline aspect of it," school senior Haley Good said.

During the Holy month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world abstain from taking foods, liquids, and even smoking during daylight hours. Sunday [today], is the last day of fasting as Muslims await for Eid-ul-Fitr.

Waleed Atawneh, the sponsor of the Muslim Students Association of East Maine High School, said, "You get together with all your classmates and family, I think that kind of thing brings out the spirit of Ramadan."

Julia Jaroslawski, one of the students who fasted in solidarity with her fellow Muslim students, said that fasting is a difficult lesson in self-discipline and that her Muslim friends motivate her to better understand different cultures and their sacrifices, CBS notes.

"I realized how often I think about food and water," said Jaroslawski. "I realized that instead of thinking about what I'm going to eat in the future, I should focus on what I'm doing right now," she added.

Rayhan Khaja, a student and co-president of the school's Muslim Student Association said, "Talking to somebody just like and having a conversation is really important, you know, and I think that's a big step towards inclusion," reported CBS.

"It's kind of like eye-opening," said the other co-president and student Haaziya Saiyed. "You get to see life from a different perspective," he added.

The Islamic community takes advantage of the Holy month to rally for peace and unity across the world besides helping those struggling in the community. Thousands of people also get directly assisted during Ramadan.


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