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Ramadan Ding-Dong

by Mark Tapson

As is customary, President Obama and wife Michelle released theirannual Ramadan greetings last Friday. Also customary for Obama, it was full of platitudes about Islam’s supposedly invaluable contribution to American culture, and devoid of any acknowledgement of the dark reality of the Arab Spring that he helped facilitate.

The statement began:

Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to Muslim Americans and Muslims around the world at the start of Ramadan. For Muslims, Ramadan is a time of fasting, prayer, and reflection; a time of joy and celebration. It’s a time to cherish family, friends, and neighbors, and to help those in need.

In ironic response, CNN posted this headline two days later: “Iraq Bombs Kill 25 People as Muslims Celebrate Ramadan.” Similar headlines followed: “Ramadan Fails to Curtail Syrian Violence.” “Muslims Begin Ramadan Fast; Bombs Hit Thai South.” “7 Shot Dead in Karachi on First Day of Ramadan.” So much for reflection, joy, and celebration.

Even if many Muslims around the world weren’t respectful of Ramadan, at least American officials in Guantanamo were. In deference to the Muslims who are vacationing – sorry, I mean incarcerated – there, they graciously postponed any court hearings to allow the murderous 9/11 plotters their time of contemplation and joy.

Ramadan is also a reminder, the Obamas’ statement went on, “to people of all faiths of our common humanity and the commitment to justice, equality, and compassion shared by all great faiths.”

Not according to a group by the name of “Qaedat al-Jihad,” a branch of al Qaeda that has been described as one of the “affiliates of the Global Jihad movement.” This is their take on Ramadan, delivered in their statement claiming responsibility for last Wednesday’s terror attack against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria that killed seven and wounded dozens more:

The month of Ramadan is a month of holy war and death for Allah. It is a month for fighting the enemies of Allah and God’s messenger, the Jews and their American facilitators… The holy war is not confined to a particular arena and we shall fight the Jews and the Americans until they leave the land of Islam.

So much for our common humanity, “shared by all great faiths.” Holy war? That’s odd – Western academics and Muslim Brotherhood front groups here in America keep insisting that jihad is about “inner striving” and has nothing to do with holy war. Studying for a college exam is jihad. Raising your children well is jihad. Quitting smoking is jihad. Qaedat al-Jihad clearly didn’t get that memo.

In any case, Obama continued his Ramadan statement:

This year, Ramadan holds special meaning for those citizens in the Middle East and North Africa who are courageously achieving democracy and self-determination and for those who are still struggling to achieve their universal rights.

He’s referring off course to the Arab Spring, that glorious flowering of democratic freedom which has led to Islamic fundamentalists toppling regimes in Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere, threatening to create new Irans. Apparently this unsettling news hasn’t reached George Clooney’s house or golf courses, where Obama spends most of his time, because his rosy perspective on the Arab Spring doesn’t seem to align with its ugly reality.

Obama again:

The United States continues to stand with those who seek the chance to decide their own destiny, to live free from fear and violence, and to practice their faith freely.

Really? This hollow claim will come as something of a bitter surprise to the Iranian Green Revolutionaries he ignored three summers ago, and to dwindling Christian communities all across the Middle East who are now being targeted in the genocidal wake of the Islamist Winter he praises so lavishly….

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This is sharia: Iraq: “Forcing all of us to be Muslim for a month”

By Robert Spencer

An Iraqi Christian journalist sent me this message this morning:

Forcing all of us to be Muslim for a monthI live in Iraq. Our prime minister has ordered the closure of all liquor stores in the month of Ramadan.

As if that’s not bad enough, he has ordered all restaurants to be closed during the day. In his official letter he states: “The sale of breakfast and lunch (in the month of Ramadan) is strictly prohibited and actions will be taken against offenders.”

As if there aren’t any Christians in the country, or any Muslims who don’t feel like being religious and fasting for a month….

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RAMADAN, A CURSE ON MUSLIMS

The month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk is a curse on them. Here are some of the  reasons:

– They are not allowed to eat or drink , not even a sip of water. It dehydrates their bodies which is very bad for their system.

– At dusk there is mad rush for food which traditionally consists of  fried  items,  greasy meats, oily bread, sugary drinks and desserts.  A disaster in the making for their bodies.

-They sleep with all that undigested greasy/sugary  bulk in their stomach .   The result is weight gain, higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure and higher cholesterol, lots of  inflammation causing toxins.

– They have to wake up at 3AM for sehri meal which adds  more food to the undigested  food in their stomachs.

-It screws their sleeping pattern , the lack of sleep keeps them  lethargic  and lazy all day.

-The hungry, thirsty, sleep deprived Muslims cannot concentrate on their work; their efficiency goes down.

-All fasting Muslims tend to pray and read quran a lot more during Ramadan wasting  many hours every day on time-wasting rituals.

Here is a video on Ramadan made by an ex-Muslim.

Whole Foods Celebrates, Monetizes Ramadan

BY NEAL UNGERLEIDER

Thanks to a new social media-centered marketing campaign, Whole Foods will become the first national retail chain to celebrate Ramadan.

Whole Foods has become the first prominent supermarket chain to run a Ramadan marketing campaign–and they’re hoping Muslim customers will return the favor as they break fast. Even though Muslims traditionally forego meals during the day, lavish evening Ramadan meals could mean big bucks for the natural foods giant … as well as brand loyalty from a demographic not traditionally courted by megastore advertising.

Whole Foods is teaming up with Halal frozen entree brand Saffron Road (who sell a variety of Indian-, Thai-, and Moroccan-flavored dinners) to host several promoted blog items onWhole Foods’ website along with sponsored giveaways of Saffron Road food and supermarket gift certificates. Additional content for the campaign is being added by Yvonne Maffei of the My Halal Kitchen blog. While it is a relatively small promotion, it also marks a new benchmark for the Muslim-American community: the first coordinated Ramadan promotion by a national supermarket chain.

No in-store promotions for the campaign are planned, instead, in an apparent attempt to test the waters, the promotion will start online. The “campaign focuses on reaching Muslim consumers online where they are already having conversations about halal foods, grocery shopping, and preparing for Ramadan,” Saffron Road spokesperson Lisa Mabe tells Fast Company. Saffron Road maintains a heavy social media presence and an ongoing charitable relationship with Whole Foods’ Whole Planet foundation, and hopes the promotion will further strengthen their brand awareness.

There are approximately 1.8 million Muslims living in the United States. Of these, Arab Muslims are a distinct minority; the bulk of the population consists of African-American converts to Islam and South Asian (Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan) Muslims. And 45% of Muslim immigrants report annual household income levels of $50,000 or higher–placing them squarely in Whole Foods’ demographic.

Whole Foods’ marketing campaign might earn them customer loyalty, but it is taking place in a market that sometimes exhibits anti-Muslim sentiment. Extensive Ramadan advertising campaigns have existed in Europe for years, but the Ground Zero Mosque controversy remains a sore point in many parts of the United States and large chains have been caught in the crossfire between Muslim- and non-Muslim consumers in the past. A2009 Best Buy Thanksgiving circular acknowledging the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha (which occurred in the vicinity of Thanksgiving) drew the ire of right-wing bloggers, newspapers, and television networks.

With Whole Foods’ self-consciously granola self-presentation and liberal-, cosmopolitan-skewing customer base, they are the ideal chain to attempt a marketing project aimed squarely at Muslim-American consumers.

So, knowing that Muslims usually fast on Ramadan and wanting to know more about why a supermarket chain would advertise during a fast, we reached out to the expert–Aman Ali of the must-read mosque-hopping project 30 Mosques in 30 Days:

Ramadan is the Islamic holy month of purification, where Muslims fast (abstaining from food, drink, etc.) from sunrise to sunset. As far as the foods that are generally served at the meal, the cuisines are usually reflected by the cultures taking part in the meal. On our trips we’ve eaten everything from Indian food, to Arab food, to Pakistani food to good ol’ fashioned $5 foot-long Subway sandwiches. The only real common item  is breaking the fast with a date, something that was a tradition of Prophet Muhammad.

Believe it or not, a lot of the major supermarket chains are starting to carry halal foods. Kroger carries Midamar meats, a major halal food supplier based in Iowa. And I believe Wal-Mart and Whole Foods carry halal frozen dishes from a company called Saffron Road. It comes in super handy for Muslim communities that dont have a local halal butcher but do have these grocery stores.

A lot of my friends in college went to schools in the middle of nowhere and it was basically halal chicken nuggets became their breakfast, lunch and dinner. In places with large Muslim populations, like Dearborn, Michigan, there are Wal-Marts and Krogers that actually carry halal butchered food there. (Well that’s just fabulous! PETA? Where are  you? -ed.)

Ramadan 2011 begins on August 1.

From: http://www.fastcompany.com/1769739/whole-foods-celebrates-ramadan

 

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