Muslims across Europe are marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, which in 2018 was observed between May 17 and June 15, in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar.
Ramadan, a major topic for public discussion in Europe this year, received considerable media coverage, a reflection of Islam’s rising influence.
Muslim leaders sought to leverage the media attention to showcase Ramadan — a time when Muslims abstain from eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset, to commemorate, according to Islamic tradition, the revelation of the Quran to Mohammed — as the peaceful nature of Islam in Europe.
European multiculturalists, normally strict enforcers of secularism when it comes to Christianity, made great efforts to draw up guidelines, issue instructions and carve out special privileges to ensure that Muslims were not offended by non-Muslims during the festival.
Breaking with the past, however, a growing number of European politicians publicly spoke out against Ramadan, especially regarding the adverse effects of prolonged fasting on school-aged children. The backlash, evidenced by the emergence of politically incorrect political parties in Europe, appears to reflect a growing wariness of runaway multiculturalism and the steady erosion of Western values.