Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

DEBATE

Libya unrest: National Assembly asks for UN help to dissolve militias

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#IceBucketChallenge and hashtag activism

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The world’s dictators love the unrest in Ferguson'

Read more

ENCORE!

Montreal Stories

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

More than half of French households will pay no income tax this year

Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • Ex-PM Juppé announces bid for 2017 French presidential race

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Deadly airstrikes hit Gaza as ceasefire with Israel collapses

    Read more

  • Tentative peace in Ferguson despite second fatal shooting

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Iraqi army clashes with militants in Tikrit after retaking key dam

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

  • ‘Let it be’: Londoners sick of Abbey Road tourists

    Read more

France

French Muslims use science to decide start of Ramadan

© AFP

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-05-10

France’s Muslim leaders for the first time ever on Thursday used modern astronomical calculations, rather than observation of the moon with the naked eye, to determine the start of the holy month of Ramadan and other Islamic holidays.

France’s Muslim leaders have agreed to end almost 1,400 years of Islamic tradition and use modern astronomy to determine the start of the holy month of Ramadan and other Islamic holidays.

The French Muslim Council (CFCM) voted on Thursday to start using astronomical calculations to set the date rather than relying on the naked eye to sight the new crescent moon.

Ramadan traditionally begins the morning after the sighting, which has in the past been delayed by a day or even two by weather.

Council President Mohammad Moussaoui said the old method played havoc with French Muslims’ schedules for work, school and festivities. France’s five million Muslims are the largest Islamic minority in Europe.

“Now all this will be simplified,” he said, and promptly announced the Ramadan fast would begin on July 9 this year.

Turkey began using scientific calculations to set the start of Ramadan decades ago. Muslims in Germany, who are mostly of Turkish origin, and those in Bosnia also use this method.

Muslim minorities elsewhere in Europe often start Ramadan according to its beginning in their countries of origin, or in Saudi Arabia. That can lead to different ethnic groups starting it on different days, even in the same country.

“This is historic. Now all Muslims in France can start Ramadan on the same day,” said Lyon Muslim leader Azzedine Gaci.

Muslim scientists have been arguing for using astronomy to determine Islamic dates for years, especially now that globalised communications make it increasingly awkward for different countries to start Ramadan on different days.

Complicating the calculations, the Islamic lunar calendar is 10 to 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar developed in Europe, so the dates for Ramadan fall a week and a half earlier as each year in the western calendar passes.

Moussaoui said French Muslims were not planning to ask for their holidays to be included in the national calendar.

“It would be more important for us that they are taken into consideration, that’s all,” he said.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-05-10

  • FRANCE

    Muslims treat Paris to pastry protest on Eid

    Read more

  • RELIGION

    Muslims celebrate end of Ramadan

    Read more

COMMENT(S)