(ST. LOUIS, MO, 5/2/19) – The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MO) today released “An Educator’s Guide to Ramadan and Accommodating Muslim Students” as the month of fasting is due to begin next week.
[NOTE: Ramadan begins on or about May 6. Because the beginning of Islamic lunar months depends on the actual sighting of the new moon, the start and end dates for Ramadan may vary. Consult local Muslim organizations.]
SEE: 2018 CAIR-MO An Educator’s Guide to Ramadan and Accommodating Muslim Students
The 2019 Educator’s Guide to Ramadan provides guidance to understanding the unique challenges for Muslim students who fast in Ramadan, highlights religious accommodation options for schools as well as gives general advice on how to create a more welcoming environment to better student’s education.
“Ramadan is a month of fasting in which Muslim students abstain from eating and drinking from break of dawn to sunset. This presents unique challenges to Muslim students especially in an educational environment,” said Faizan Syed, executive director of CAIR-MO. “Whether it’s finding accommodations for Muslim students during lunch, advice on whether students should participate in physical education, or how to deal with medication for fasting students, this short guide dives into these various topics.”
Some key findings of the 2019 Educator’s Guide to Ramadan:
- Ramadan this year will be from around May 6 till June 4 followed by the religious celebration of Eid-Al-Fitr. Students will be fasting for roughly 15.5 hours.
- Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar and moves back 10 to 11 days every year. An entire generation of Muslim students have grown up with Ramadan occurring during summer break. 2019 will be the first year in nearly a decade when Ramadan returns to the school year.
- Schools should consider alternatives for fasting students during lunch time. These alternatives should also take into consideration that lunch time is also an opportunity for students to socialize with their friends. Avoid providing alternatives that isolates fasting students during Ramadan.
- During Ramadan, one’s body adjusts to fasting and students are typically able to continue to participate in physical activities without putting themselves at risk or danger. Educators should still take caution and have conversations with fasting students who may find physical activities too strenuous while fasting.
“This is an educational opportunity for school administrators and teachers to better understand Ramadan, the impact it will have on their Muslim students, and to explore policies to create a better learning environment,” said Imam Djilali Kacem of Dar-Al-Jalal Masjid. “Many Muslim students might be too shy or don’t know how to have these conversations with their teachers or peers. This is a helpful guide that we believe schools across the region will find beneficial.”
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.