Ramadan Accommodation

Gave an exam on the evening of the first day of Ramadan. Thought during the exam of a number of students who would not have eaten or consumed liquids for many hours prior to the exam. Wondered what shape they would be in, and whether they should be writing the exam around 10 p.m. or so. Nobody asked for anything, but still wondered.

Turns out that some institutions view such circumstances as an accommodation obligation. For example, Simon Fraser University, under “Guides and Protocols” of the “Human Rights and Equity” section of its website, has this to say, in question and answer format, to “Religious Accommodation“:

It is relatively easy to accommodate a religious practice for one or two days a year. However, the tenets of some religions require practices that are undertaken once a week or more. Are they entitled to accommodation, as well?

Yes. Some religions, like Orthodox Jews and Seventh Day Adventists, practice their religious faith by worshipping from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. Therefore, they are required to be away from work and study during these times. In winter, when the days are shorter, it may be more difficult to accommodate because sundown arrives early. Nevertheless, accommodation is still a legal requirement. Similarly, Muslims who fast during Ramadan may require daily accommodation in order to fast. These practices all trigger the duty to accommodate.

Reminders of the Easter Passover issues. This year, in Iraq, the Supreme Religious Authority, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistanti, called on the Ministry of Education to postpone final exams, during Ramadan.

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About brucelarochelle

Practising Lawyer and Part-Time University Instructor (Accounting, Commercial Law, Organizational Behaviour); Part-Time Federal Tribunal Member. Non-practising Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Accountant).
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One Response to Ramadan Accommodation

  1. Thinking about being on the cutting edge of facilitating one’s religious rights at an institution. It makes a difference if we are the knife, as opposed to being the bread. Ramadan’s tough this year, in the northern hemisphere.

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