Netherlands: Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr among Moroccan youth

The Ramadan is now ending and the three day Eid ul-Fitr starts today.  In this context Motivaction, in cooperation with Marokko Media surveyed Moroccan youth to see how they experience Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr.  In total 430 youth 13-25 years old were surveyed by a survey panel of Motivaction and named NMP (Nieuw Marokkaans Peil)

93% of Moroccan youth took part in Ramadan.  The most important aspect of the fasting was the spiritual side, namely contact with Allah, given as a reason by 62%.  The spiritual side was followed by thinking of poverty in the world (19%).  Of less concern was contact with friends and family (3%).

The Ramadan influences how people practice Islam. A third of the youth said they prayed more often than normal.  Praying was also done more often in mosques (28%).  This corresponds with the image of overfull mosques during Ramadan.  During Ramadan people also actively looked up more information on Islam: 30% spoke more with family and friends about Islam and 25% surfed on the internet for informative websites about Islam and read more books on Islam.

The youth are most annoyed by the so-called "Ramadan worshippers', ie, people who only follow Islamic laws during Ramadan.  51% of the youth think it's not right and that you should either follow Islamic law all the time, or not at all.  They think it's even worse than to sneakily eat (36%) or have sexual relations (19%) during the month.  12% think flirting isn't allowed.

The Ramadan month also influences the daily activities of Moroccan youth.  60% says they play sports less and 70% go out less to places such as discos.  They also watch less TV (40%).  The time saved by not doing these activities is spent in the company of family and friends (50%).

A majority of the youth (53%) think that in the Netherlands people take into account that many Muslims fast during Ramadan, but that it can be better.  70% think it should be possible for Muslims to get an adjusted work schedule during Ramadan and 57% think that schools should plan less tests and exams.  The government is expected to put out more information nationally about the meaning of Ramadan so that more citizens will be aware of this holy month for Muslims.

Eid ul-Fitr, the holiday ending Ramadan is massively celebrated by Moroccan youth.  72% says they buy new clothing specially for Eid ul-Fitr and 50% says they buy presents for others.  That Eid ul-Fitr is not just another days is seen from the fact that 80% think that it should be an official Dutch vacation day and that if that isn't possible, Muslims should in any case be able to exchange a Christian vacation day in its place.

Source: (Dutch)

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