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Chief Constable thanks Muslim community for obeying lockdown rules during Holy month

May 22, 2020
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Nottinghamshire Police has thanked the local Muslim community for their support over the month of Ramadan in following the Government’s restrictions on social distancing and mass gatherings.

The Holy month, which began on April 23, comes to an end this weekend with the festival of Eid Al-Fitr to celebrate.

The Muslim community has today been thanked by the force’s Chief Constable for the exemplary way they have managed to observe this month while staying within the lockdown guidance.

While some restrictions have been relaxed as part of lockdown, the need for people to remain at home and not be in large gatherings remains.

Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “This current time we are living through is very difficult when it comes to religious observances or festivities, as the natural inclination for many people is to go and meet and celebrate or pray together.

“The lockdown has seen the closure of places of worship, including Mosques, which I know has been hard for many people within our Muslim community and which I sympathise with.

“I am very pleased therefore to say that in Nottinghamshire people within this community have been very receptive to the current situation and have refrained from meeting up and gathering together. I am confident this will continue throughout this weekend, despite the fact it is Eid Al-Fitr.

“I know that Eid Al-Fitr is an important time of the year for our Muslim community as it is usually a chance to meet up with families and friends and to celebrate the end of Ramadan. “This year sadly there won’t be the opportunity for people to be able to gather together in open spaces to pray or celebrate. Instead the celebrations will very much be confined to individuals celebrating just with those they live with, within their own homes. This is being done to stop any pressure on the NHS locally and save lives as a result. This approach is working and so we all need to keep on doing our bit to keep going until this pressure subsides.”

Dr Amjad Aziz, Imam and Chair on behalf of Nottingham Council of Mosques, said: “This crisis has required sacrifices from all of us and many people of faith in this country have had to adapt practices through religious festivals including Easter, Passover, Vaisakhi, Ramadan and Eid. “Muslims and other faith communities have met these challenges head on, and our local Muslim community has very much embraced the need to stay at home and save lives this Ramadan.  It’s been inspiring to see people using technology for prayer and iftar with family and friends throughout Ramadan.  I know our community will continue with this approach as we manage our festival of Eid Al-Fitr this weekend as the month of Ramadan comes to a close, by celebrating at home this year.

Dr Musharraf Hussain OBE senior Imam Karimia Institute  Nottingham added: “All of us should feel proud of how we have come together to make social distancing work in this crisis, while continuing to support the most vulnerable in our society and take part in a national effort to save lives and protect the NHS.”

Ends

FAQ:

What should I do this Eid?

The danger of the Coronavirus is still very much with us, however tempting it is to meet up with family and friends in person. In meeting loved ones who live outside of your household you are not only putting your own health at risk, but your family’s and those you live with.

Meeting others is particularly risky if you share your home with elderly relatives or those with pre-existing health conditions.

This Eid, you can go outside with those in your household or meet with only one other person who doesn’t live in your household as long as you keep 2 metres distance between you. This must only be two people in total meeting outside; one from each household. To protect yourself and others, do not gather in groups with people from more than one household.

We’d encourage you to use digital technology to connect with family and friends, just as you’ve been doing throughout Ramadan. This is a better way to stay safe and protect others while sharing the special day of Eid with others.

Can I meet in the park to pray?

Parks and other green spaces remain open and you can now spend time outdoors. You should not be using parks to gather in large groups from different households and this includes for prayer.

You can meet with no more than one person from outside your household while remaining 2 metres away from them.

While it might be tempting to join others in parks while places of worship remain closed, we’d encourage everyone to remember that this could put their health and the health of their family at risk.

Why are mosques still closed in my area?

The Coronavirus pandemic has been a huge challenge for our country and worldwide, and as we begin considering opening up more types of buildings dependent on how they’re used it is our duty to ensure that we are not putting our friends, families and neighbours at risks.

Places of worship are essential in bringing communities and generations together but this makes them places that are currently particularly vulnerable to the spread of Covid-19.

There is a wide diversity of places of worship in this country – from the largest cathedrals to smaller, more informal settings. It is vital that we support a wide range of faith leaders to put safety measures in place before opening places of worship nationwide.

When will places of worship begin opening again?

The Government has set up a Taskforce with national faith leaders to prepare places of worship – small and large, and for people of all faiths and backgrounds – to welcome back worshippers. 

Government will keep restrictions under review as set out in the Coronavirus Bill and will open places of worship as soon as they are confident that people can use these spaces safely and will not be putting themselves or others at risk.

Can I visit the home of my relatives at Eid?

Visiting other homes for social or religious activities, where you do not reside, is not permitted. The exception is if you are a carer providing essential care for someone who you do not live with.

The risk of infection is lower outside, it is permitted for two persons maximum, each from a separate household to meet up outside in a public space – e.g. park. Continued adherence to the two-metre social distancing rule should be followed.

Can I pay my respects to my loved one at a cemetery at Eid?

Cemeteries and memorial grounds are allowed to be open We do know that some cemeteries have made the decision to close based on their own risk assessment.

If you do decide to visit a cemetery, we urge you to follow the same advice as visiting a park: ensure there are no more than two persons together from separate households, stay two- metres away from others  from outside of household,  and wash your hands frequently.

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