In the past years, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain has held fast-defying protests at embassies in solidarity with those who are persecuted for eating and drinking during Ramadan.
This year, CEMB’s fast-defying action will include a protest at the Department for Education on 17th May at 12pm.
The 17 May protest at the Department for Education aims to highlight the Department’s inaction with regards to child fasting in schools during Ramadan. Child fasting should be banned as it is harmful to children.
If a child is sent to school without breakfast and not allowed to eat lunch or drink water whilst going about their normal school day for an entire month, this would rightly trigger safeguarding procedures and be considered a form of neglect. However, when it comes to BME children of religious parents, the Department for Education readily turns a blind eye.
Being forced to not eat or drink water for an entire month for 12+ hours a day is clearly harmful to children and child development. It causes sickness, dizziness, migraines, sunstrokes, lack of focus and tiredness as a result of dehydration or lack of sustenance. It can also lead to depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, anger, apathy, reduced alertness, diminished comprehension… Children have been known to faint at school as a result.
Adults, of course, can fast if they choose. It’s important to remember that there is a corresponding right NOT to fast if one chooses not to. Nonetheless, when it comes to children, imposing fasting rules is child abuse and neglect.
The Department for Education has a duty of care for school children and must act immediately to put child welfare above any religious demands of parents.
DETAILS OF THE EVENTS FOR RAMADAN
17 May, 12pm
Fast defying protest outside Department for Education, 20 Great Smith St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3BT
1st June, 1pm
Ramadan Picnic for ex-Muslims. To join picnic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
5 May-4 June
Send your Ramadan Stories to be posted on our social media on a daily basis to email@example.com or use the hashtag #FastDefyingRamadanStories