Pompeo urged to avoid scapegoating Muslims during Ramazan

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WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo urged the international community on Thursday to avoid scapegoating Muslims during Ramazan for the coronavirus outbreak.

“In this sacred season, already reshaped by the pandemic, scapegoating of certain religious groups, including Muslims, has increased with the spread of Covid-19,” said the chief US diplomat in his Ramazan message. Ramazan begins in the United States on Friday. “We urge all governments and communities to use this time to focus on service and unity, to keep in mind the health and safety of the most vulnerable and the marginalised as we continue to fight to stop the Covid-19 crisis,” he wrote.

“Ramazan is a reminder for people of all faiths to strive for compassion, reflect on our own actions, and ensure all individuals are safe in times of hardship.”

President Donald Trump also issued a similar message, saying: “Today, as the holy month of Ramazan commences, I pray that those who are observing this sacred time find comfort and reassurance in their faith.”

“Over the past months, we have seen how important the power of prayer can be during challenging times,” he said. “I wish all Muslims, both in the United States and across the world, a blessed and peaceful Ramazan.”

Mr Trump noted that for millions around the globe, Ramazan was “an opportunity to renew and strengthen their faith through rigorous fasting, devout prayer, reflective meditation, reading the Quran, and charitable deeds”.

Such acts, he added, were closely aligned with the universal values that the Islamic faith promotes ­— peace, kindness, and love and respect for others

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