Leder av byrådet i Tower Hamlets i Øst-London, Luftur Rahman, ber alle medlemmer av byrådet om ikke å drikke eller spise under møtene av hensyn til muslimske medlemmer. Enkelte medlemmer synes det går over alle støvleskaft.
All elected members at Left-wing Tower Hamlets Council in East London have been sent an email asking them to follow strict Islamic fasting during September no matter what their faith.
As well as restricting food and drink until after sunset, the authority’s leaders have decided to reduce the number of meetings throughout the month so they do not clash with the requirements of Ramadan.
The seven remaining meetings scheduled to take place will also include special prayer breaks to accommodate Muslim councillors.
But some members of the Labour-run council say the demands favour one religious group over the others.
Dr Stephanie Eaton, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said she would ignore the restrictions.
Meningen er sikkert god: offeret man ber om er kanskje ikke så stort: avstå fra å spise og drikke til solen har gått ned. Ramadan faller i dag sammen med september, dvs. at dagen er forholdsvis lang. Møtene begynner 6.30 og solen går ned en time senere. Da må møtene ta en 45 minutters pause for at muslimene skal be og kunne spise. Da får også ikke-muslimer lov å spise og drikke.
But with the sun not setting until an hour later, devout Muslims will be unable to break their fast – known as Iftar – until midway through the meeting, where they will be given a 45-minute break.
Food and refreshments, such as sandwiches and biscuits, are normally laid on at town hall meetings.
Controversy has arisen because all members have been told not to eat until after sunset, out of courtesy to their Muslim colleagues, and so there will be food left for them later in the evening.
In the memo to councillors, John Williams, the council’s head of democratic services, said: ‘It is requested that members do not partake of any refreshments until after the Iftar refreshments are served.’
Det samme lokale byrådet kunne ikke feire juletrefest, men måtte døpe den om.