For the first time in six years, the beginning of the Muslim holy month of fasting is not being marked in the Netherlands with a Ramadan Festival.
The event was initially organised in response to the murder of Dutch film director and author Theo van Gogh by an Islamic extremist in 2004. The organisers said the aim of the festival was to counter stereotypes about Muslims and help combat fears among Muslims themselves. The organisation says it has suspended the event while it embarks on a period of reflection.
The Union of Moroccan Mosques this year wants to focus on the famine in the Horn of Africa. “If you can’t contribute money, please contribute with a prayer”, says the group’s president, Khalil Aitblal.