NEWS: Ramadan targeted by criminals

Police_Car,_UKThe Holy Month of Ramadan has just begun on 21 August 2009, and many Muslims will be devoting attention to their religious obligations. These duties include fasting, as well as frequent visits to the Mosque. Against this backdrop of spiritual obeisance, West Yorkshire Police have raised a more prosaic concern – that of crime.

Official statistics suggest that acquisitive crime, particularly of valuable gold items, rose during last year’s Ramadan. It would seem that thieves targeted the homes of Asian families, as well as vehicles parked near Mosques. In an effort to avoid these unpleasant occurrences, West Yorkshire Police, in partnership with Leeds County Council have issued crime prevention advice. Alongside this guidance, the police have promised extra patrols, both as a form of deterrence, as well as offering reassurance to the public. As Superintendent Simon Whitehead explains: ‘[w]e want to ensure that everyone observing Ramadan can continue their religious obligations without fear of becoming a victim of crime.’

Despite the unfortunate beginnings to this initiative, i.e. a rise in crime, it is heartening to note West Yorkshire Police’s commitment to valuing cultural diversity. This awareness and response to local needs is an encouraging sign that the police have taken some of The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry findings (Recommendations 48-54) on board.

Read more:

$1.99 - small Islam in the Age of Globalization
By Bruce Lawrence
(Vol. 3, May 2008)
Religion Compass

$1.99 - small Theology and the Lure of the Practical: An Overview
By Mary McClintock Fulkerson,
(Vol. 2, February 2007)
Religion Compass

Ramadan
By John O’Connell
From The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management

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