And here we go for another month of Ramadan. Ramadan is that holy month in the Muslim calendar when people have to fast from dawn to dusk. It is the month in which the Qur’an is said to have been revealed to Prophet Mohammad (PBH) some 1430 years ago.
During the month of Ramadan Muslims tend to focus more on faith and prayers. They kind of experience the hardship and daily life of the poor and the needy.
When walking down the mainly Muslim populated streets of Paris it is also interesting to see how the atmosphere is different during this holy month. Peace, brotherhood, and respect are obvious values during this period. In the northern districts of Paris the “Chorba Pour Tous Association” is providing the poor with free meals no matter if they are Muslim or not. Most parents of Muslim confession also have their holidays during this period so as to be more focused on prayers and meditation. The streets of the 19th, 18th and 20th districts of Paris have that nice smell that makes you wish it is already sometime around nine o’clock in the evening.
But what surprises my sociologist eye this
year, is to see that despite the fact that Islam in France is often a divisive subject, there seems to be global consensus, however, when it comes to develop and promote halal marketing.
Due to a growing Muslim community in France the month of Ramadan is now getting more interest especially from those whose businesses rely on
Islamic diets. This explains the reason why some French superstores, owned by non Muslim businessmen, have decided to play the game of diversity and make more money through the providing of halal food. No need now to go to Muslim grocers’ or butchers’ where food very often cost twice the normal price. The marketing and commercial initiative has the merit to bridge the gap and indirectly to contribute to multiculturalism. No doubt that the end of Ramadan, in approximately ten days or so, will for some be synonymous of an excellent business. All this makes me think one thing: What if true and real integration
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of the Muslim subculture in the Western World was first to appear via marketing and business?
By Dr. Moustafa Traore