I extend my warmest wishes as millions of Muslims around the world begin observing the holy month of Ramadan.
This will, of course, be a very different Ramadan. Many community activities will naturally be affected by measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, many people in conflict zones will once again be tragically marking this month with war and insecurity all around.
I recently called for an immediate global ceasefire to focus on our common enemy — the virus. I repeat that appeal today, recalling the words of the Holy Quran “and if they incline to peace, then incline to it”.
Ramadan is also about supporting the most vulnerable. I thank governments and people throughout the Muslim world who live by their faith, supporting those fleeing conflict in the best Islamic tradition of hospitality and generosity — a remarkable lesson in this world where so many doors have been closed to those in need of protection, even before COVID-19.
Once again, my best wishes to all for mercy, solidarity and compassion in these trying times.
23 April 2020