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"Facebook Fast" Sought for Ramadan

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"Facebook Fast" Sought for Ramadan

ASSOCIATED PRESS

An Egyptian boy stands among the supporters of ousted Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi, who are offering the the Tarawih prayer, after the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan, in Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday July 10, 2013. Egypt's military-backed government tightened a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday, ordering the arrest of its revered leader in a bid to choke off the group's campaign to reinstate President Mohammed Morsi one week after an army-led coup. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

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Along with fasting during the day, some Muslims feel they should also start abstaining from Facebook and other social media.

Despite data showing a higher use of social media during the holy month of Ramadan, some Muslims see it as a time to also have a self-imposed fast from Facebook, according to Al-Arabiya.

While there are no official guidelines for Facebook use during Ramadan, Muslims can have a religious retreat where they stay at a mosque and refrain from jobs and other daily duties, according to Abdul Ghani Hindi, a professor of religious and social affairs at Al Azhar University in Egypt. Incessant social media use could mean "not fulfilling religious obligations," he said, but moderate tweeting or posting shouldn't pose a problem.

Others didn't agree. 

Saud Inam, an Atlanta-based Muslim said that he planned to spend more time reading the Koran and reflecting on the holy month with family, so Facebook was out.

“I wanted to make sure this Ramadan I had no distractions whatsoever,” he told the Huffington Post.
 
Dawud Walid, an Islamic preacher from Detroit said,  "I'm not restricting myself to a number, but the amount of times in the day in which I would check Twitter and randomly say something, I’m desisting from that.”
 
Social media use rose more than 30 percent during last year's Ramadan, according to the Online Project, be that because of religious posts or not.
 
With more than 60 million active Twitter and Facebook accounts in the Arab world and nearly 200 million active monthly users in the United States and Canada, it's unlikely that social media use will be curtailed during Ramadan but it will be interesting to see if it will rise again this year.

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