May 11 2018

Turkish religious body urges Ramadan “e-fast”

Turkey’s state religious body, the Diyanet, has recommended that Muslims in the country supplement their traditional Ramadan fasts with an “e-fast” away from modern technology, pro-government news site Habertürk said.

Professor İlhan Kılıç of Istanbul University wrote in the May issue of the Diyanet’s monthly magazine that technologies such as television, the internet and mobile phones had their advantages, but had also reshaped social relations.

In order to reassess and revitalise face-to-face relationships, Kılıç recommended what he called an “e-fast”.

By communicating with those nearby rather than thousands of kilometres away and by replacing stress-inducing games with family time, Kılıç said, devotees of religion could make their lives better.

And rather than working overtime to get the latest telephone, he said, one should work harder to be a good servant to Allah.

The Diyanet has made reducing waste the theme of its messaging for Ramadan, which starts on May 15, and several articles in the magazine tackled the dangers of consumer culture and the commercialisation of the festival.