As Ramadan begins, Muslims around the world prepare to fast from dawn to dusk for the next month. But for many Muslims, this time of spiritual reflection is scarred by the rising tide of Islamophobia.
In recent years, Muslims have faced increasing discrimination, hate crimes, and harassment. The effects of Islamophobia can be damaging not just to the individual, but to entire communities. It can lead to feelings of isolation, fear, and even self-doubt among Muslims.
Associate professor with McMaster University, Dr. Ameil Joseph, says Hamilton was one of the worst cities in the country when it comes to hate crimes.
According to Statistics Canada, hate motivated crimes targeting religion jumped 67 per cent in 2021, with Jewish and Muslim populations being the most commonly targeted for religious based hate crimes.
Despite these challenges, many Muslims continue to celebrate Ramadan with resilience and determination.
From sun-up to sun-down, practicing Muslims will refrain from eating or drinking. It’s one of the five pillars of Islam and it’s meant to inspire reflection and gratitude.