Belgian Muslims will face a Ramadan under lockdown. Credit: Belga
On the eve of Ramadan, Belgian Muslims are facing additional challenges holding their fasting period amid the nationwide lockdown.
“The upheaval will be two-fold for Muslims this year,” said Franck Hensch, imam of the largest mosque in Verviers (Wallonia), as they prepare for a month abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to sunset.
Besides the fact that “Ramadan is a special month that upsets our habits and leaves room for introspection,” Hensch pointed out that there is no possibility for “the whole community experience” to take place as lockdown measures in effect until at least 3 May mean the need to adapt in various ways.
Due to the lockdown, the gathering for large evening meals typically held during Ramadan will not be able to go ahead. At best, people will be able to break the fast with their loved ones’ faces on a screen, Hensch said.