As Ramadan begins The East London Advert …

As Ramadan begins The East London Advertiser reports that ‘non-Muslim councillors are being forced to observe the rules of fasting’ in Tower Hamlets:

The row was sparked by an email sent to all councillors this week outlining arrangements for Town Hall committee meetings next month, which marks the Muslim fasting period of Ramadan.

It said that new council leader Lutfur Rahman and his deputy, Siraj Islam, had requested that meetings be kept to a minimum to accommodate fasting councillors.

They have also asked all other councillors to resist eating until the breaking of the fast at sunset.

If this story is true*, then the requests by the Muslim councillors do not strike me as being in the ‘spirit’ of Ramadan. It certainly strikes me as an example of throwing your religious beliefs in other peoples faces. What is even more problematic is that they are local government workers.

Update: Sunny has some more information, including the original email that made the story. Looks like Tower Hamlets had to backtrack on some of the original requests.

*There is ample evidence stories like this are the often misunderstandings, exaggerations or just plain old lies. But I also know from experience they can be true.