Iftar in the Servitenkloster on August 6 th 2013, 29 th of Ramadan 1434

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As-salamu alaikum and “Grüß Gott”!

It is a great honor to deliver the best regards and wishes of Dr. Fuat Sanac, president of the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria. He would have liked to share this special evening with us, but is busy with another commitment, arranged long before.

So let me recall the spirit that brought us together by quoting a hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “ The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever.” [Muslim]

Especially during Ramadan we should open our hearts for this message of solidarity and feel our responsibility not to close our eyes towards the needs of others. For Ramadan is like a training for us to practice how Ibadah (service for God the Almighty) means caring for others at the same time. And have not the first Muslims experienced the hardship of exile and found shelter under the reign of a Christian Ethiopian emperor? Hasn’t Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) been an example how the hidschrah may open new and better perspectives?

Nevertheless grace of charity und humanity our commonly shared values. The Islamic Religious Authority is greatly concerned how these values are often neglected when it comes to the treatment of refugees. It is not acceptable that refugees who have experienced much of distress and faced great personal troubles should be seen under a cloud of suspicion or been generally criminalized. Especially political propaganda on the back of refugees should be regarded as what it is: A fishy attempt to stir emotions and create a concept of the enemy just to gain votes. But true solidarity means inclusion and not the creation of a feeling of “us” by excluding or even demonizing others.

So we wish to set a visible and sustainable sign for interreligious und humanitarian cooperation. For we are sure that society has the capacity to demonstrate that a human approach in the question of asylum is what is not only morally right but commonly wanted – if populist pseudo arguments are detected.

Our great “thank you” goes to all people who engaged and engage themselves in this question and try to help: The monastery and the Caritas. The churches. NGO activists. It includes the Muslims from the Islamic Youth Council, Humanic Relief and others. Thank you, auxiliary bishop Scharl for your compassionate words and Oberkirchenrätin Reiner for your solidarity!

Dear brothers! – We wish you Allah’s blessings and personal strength in facing your difficult and tiresome situation! In scha’ Allah next Ramadan will see you much better off then today!

Carla Amina Baghajati