Confronting Islamophobia Through Ramadan

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Ramadan is more than fasting from food and drink. Advocating and speaking for our Muslim brothers and sisters is just as important.

I was invited to practice Ramadan by two dear Muslim friends of mine.

I see it as a challenge because, as deeply as I love Islam, Quran, and my Muslim brothers and sisters worldwide, I do not consider myself a Muslim — only an advocate and dedicated ally of Islam. I practice Zen Buddhism. However, I accepted their invitation, though I am a bit unsure how to adapt the rigors of Ramadan to my chaotic, hectic life, and some chronic health problems. I can only do what I can do, that is all.

Racism and bigotry is not only a white problem, but the majority of people who hate Islam and Muslims are predominantly white Americans. If Ramadan includes debates and education (calmly, without insults) of angry white Americans, then I've already begun my work. The ignorance and hatred in my country is astounding and heartbreaking.

I will not be silent on the face of the irrational hatred and violence of American Islamophobia towards my Muslim brothers and sisters around the world.

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