On the occasion of ‘Eid ul-Fitr’, the Festival of Breaking the Fast that marks the end of Ramadan, Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote a message to the Muslims who live in the Federal Republic. He said the festival was part of their shared life in Germany.
Berlin, May 2nd, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — “I send you all my warmest greetings and best wishes as you break the fast at the end of Ramadan”, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a message he wrote to the practicing Muslims in Germany. “This is normally a joyful and convivial celebration bringing together large numbers of people. After a month of reflection, of contemplation, of renunciation, you celebrate the end of this time of fasting together with family, with friends and acquaintances.”
“You celebrate with one another – this festival is a part of our shared life in Germany”, the Federal President wrote. “It unites you with your fellow Muslims, but it also unites you with people of other faiths and of none.” Steinmeier mentioned Corona and the restrictions that have limited everyone, including Germany’s Muslims, for more than two years now.
“In the last two years, this togetherness was put to a difficult test. The pandemic meant that you were unable to gather in large numbers. I know that many of you suffered greatly from being deprived of this. And so I would like to thank you all for doing your part to uphold the strict rules that were necessary to bring the pandemic somewhat under control.” He thanked the Muslims for their “prudent, responsible behavior” and their solidarity.
“The pandemic is not yet behind us”, Steinmeier said. “But I am delighted that, this year, you are once
again able to celebrate with more of your family members, friends and neighbors.” Then he went on to mention Russia’s war against Ukraine. “Many of you will have a heavy heart nonetheless. The brutal, illegal war of aggression right here in Europe is shocking and dispiriting for us all. We are deeply distressed by the images of destruction, of the endless suffering of the people of Ukraine.”
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Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated he was grateful “for the overwhelming offers of help in our country, the
willingness to take in people who have fled war and destruction, who have lost everything. Today I thank you, the Muslim communities, welfare organizations and associations who are helping without hesitation, from the bottom of my heart”, he wrote. “You are doing extraordinary work. Your help, your support are an important, an indispensable contribution to our shared life in this country. They strengthen our cohesion as a peaceful, tolerant society.”
Comfort and Strength
Germany’s President concluded his message by saying he wished everyone in the Muslim community a blessed ‘Eid ul-Fitr’ despite the dispiriting situation. “May your faith bring you comfort and strength at this dark time.” Today, 5.5 million Muslims live in Germany.