This year, the fasting month of Ramadan has special significance for every Muslim on the globe who have been witnessing the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza with lack of water, food and shelter amounting to mass starvation and physical and mental suffering as a result of brutal genocide and ethnic cleansing by the state of Israel for the last five months and counting.

All members of the  Ummah, adults as well as children are traumatised by seeing the images of mass killing of innocent men, women and children, month after month unabated with no one able to stop the Israeli killing machine in spite of global popular outrage on the streets.

This Ramadan, in addition to performing the rituals of fasting by avoiding food and drink during the daylight hours, Muslims need to reflect on life, and death, violence, and suffering as a result of conflicts in the world and how to strategise being proactive rather than reactive.

Muslims fondly await the arrival of the fasting month of Ramadan for a number of reasons including spiritual renewal, inculcating self discipline, developing empathy for have nots and, of course for consuming special items of food during Suhoor and Iftars. 

Although Ramadan fasting has substantial health benefits, fasting during the summer periods in hot climates specially for the poor, who have to work outdoors in harsh conditions and who live under basic accommodation can be challenging.

Ramadan 1445AH/2024CE is going to be specially hard for Muslims in the conflict zones, Sudan, Myanmar, Kashmir, Ukraine, Russia and specially in Palestine, Gaza in particular. Ramadan will not be a simple month of fasting for Muslims in these areas but also to face the challenges of insecurity of life and property and possibly mass starvation in Gaza.

Muslims all over the globe and specially in the West have come out in full support of the long suffering people of Palestine, creating awareness of Palestinian cause, exposing the Israeli state’s apartheid system and ongoing genocide of Gazan population while the Zionist lobby most successfully keeps the Western governments onside by using its influence and money in the corridors of power.

Community leaders, activists and advocates of Palestinian human rights are defamed, demonised and intimidated on a regular basis by the supporters of Israel through their influence in the mainstream media and lobbying power in the government.

The latest case is a malicious campaign targeting the President of the Islamic Council of Victoria, Mr Adel Salman, for advocating for the Palestinian people and calling for the end of their suffering. Mr Salman has a long track record of community service, advocating for multiculturalism and interfaith understanding.

More than 100 major Muslim organisations and almost 500 Muslim leaders have come out in support of Mr Salman showing solidarity in defending his position, activities and efforts for the cause of Palestinian people.

The Australian Muslim community has displayed great solidarity and this trend must continue.