Aman Ali, a BoingBoing guest blogger, is the co-author of 30 Mosques, a Ramadan adventure taking him to a different mosque in New York City every day for a month.
For the month of Ramadan, my friend Bassam and I gave you guys an insight into how Muslims across the United States observe Ramadan with our project 30 Mosques in 30 Days. But Iranian-American Jason Rezaian gives an interesting and critical look at Muslims observing Ramadan in five predominantly Muslim countries.
Rezaian talks about how local cultures can sometimes twist Islam's religious practices. Take his Dubai story for example:
Dubai tends toward gluttony every month of the year, but during Ramadan, things are even more over the top, with nearly every eating establishment offering an Iftar fast-breaking gut-buster at sundown. It's Dubai doing what it does best: using its limited resources for its own commercial advantage. Even American fast-food outlets in Dubai offer Ramadan Value Meals, usually adding a dessert to the already calorie-packed meal deal. At the Dubai Mall, McDonald's was the only major international food chain that didn't have a special offer, just a banner that read: "Ramadan Kareem"–"Happy Ramadan."