Ramadan: Honoring Religious Accommodations
How to effectively interact with your Muslim employees, students, colleagues and clients
Fasting: Every year in the Islamic lunar month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from the break of dawn until sunset, abstaining from food and drink. The fast is considered an act of self-purification which brings one closer to God.
This year, Ramadan began on July 8, 2013. It will end approximately on August 7, 2013. The fasts are almost 17 1/2 hours long each day.
Each year, CAIR-MN sees a rise in religious accommodation cases during Ramadan. Below are some ways you can accommodate your employee, co-worker, student, or client during Ramadan:
- If a Muslim employee’s work shift occurs during the time of the pre-dawn mean or at the time of breaking the fast (after sunset), provide them a break at this time. Adjust regularly scheduled meal breaks to correspond to the necessary times.
- Some Muslim women may start wearing the hijab (headcover) in Ramadan. Muslim men may wear a kufi (head cap). In most cases, the religious dress must be allowed.
- Some Muslims may find it difficult to participate in lunch meetings; be mindful of this.
- Fasting students should be allowed to go to the school library instead of the cafeteria during lunch.
- Fasting students should be excused from strenuous physical activity as they will not be able to drink water.
- Eid ul Fitr, the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, will fall around August 7. Anticipate time off requests.
Take the time to also wish your Muslim friends, “Happy Ramadan.”
Please note: The above is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Should you have any questions about the material herein or about a specific case, please consult with your attorney.
Request a Diversity Training
Increasing the understanding of Islam, Muslims and religious accommodations helps to ensure that Muslims’ rights, like those of other Americans, are upheld in the workplace, at school and in other public areas. These interactive trainings offer a safe space for questions about Islam and Muslims. CAIR-MN has developed a variety of trainings and tailors each to fit the needs of the client. Some of trainings we offer are listed below:
Our interactive trainings, “Positive Interactions,” provide managers, human resource personnel, and associates with information they need to understand the practices, beliefs, and cultural nuances of their Muslim employees and colleagues._ In addition, we discuss the laws pertaining to religious accommodation in the workplace, highlighting the legal obligations of employers while generating creative industry-specific options. We have trained almost every major corporation in Minnesota.
Our school training educates school officials, administrators, teachers and support staff on the beliefs and practices of their Muslim students and colleagues. We discuss laws pertaining to accommodating religious practices and provide information to understand cultural differences.
CAIR-MN holds an annual Media Breakfast and also meets with individual news outlets. Journalists are provided with information on American Muslims and areas of consideration when reporting on Muslims.
Public Service Agencies/Government
Our public service trainings reach out to professionals providing services to the Muslim community, educating service providers on Islamic beliefs and culture as it relates to their industry needs.
In addition to these trainings CAIR also produces guides for various professions, which include:
– Employer’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices
– Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices
– Health Care Professional’s Guide to Islamic Practices
– Know Your Rights Pocket Guide
– Journalist’s Guide to Understanding Islam and Muslims
– Law Enforcement Officer’s Guide to Muslim Community
– Correctional Institution’s Guide to Islamic Practices
Request a Training or Guide