Statement Banner

, MLA St. Vital
July 9, 2013

Start of Ramadan

It is important to be reminded of the many profound religious and cultural traditions that are observed here in Manitoba.

Tonight, Muslims will attend the first evening prayer of Ramadan, the holy month of the Muslim calendar. Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, which are the basis of the Muslim faith.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims across the globe abstain from food and drink from dawn to sunset. Fasting is an act of devotion and self‑restraint. It is a way of giving the body a rest and cleansing both physically and spiritually. Going without food also helps participants to feel empathy for those in our society who regularly go hungry, and contributions to charities spike during the Ramadan season. In the evenings, the fast is broken with a communal meal. Friends, relatives and communities get together to share food and enjoy each other's company.

Following the breaking of the fast, Muslims gather in the mosque for a special nightly prayer called the Taraweeh. In St. Vital, prayers will be held at the Hazelwood Mosque. Hazelwood Mosque is the oldest mosque in Winnipeg, and it is an important asset to social and spiritual life in our community.

Mr. Speaker, Manitoba's Muslim community has more than doubled in the last decade. The more than 12,000 Muslims in the province have brought their faith and their beliefs to Manitoba while making up an integral part of our cultural mosaic. Manitoba is made up of many cultures and beliefs. However, we are all united in several fundamental values: in generosity, in diversity and in equality for all.

I wish all Muslims in Manitoba a peaceful and happy Ramadan. Ramadan Kareem,and thank you, Mr. Speaker.