Page 2027 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 5 June 2018

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these, the most well-known is probably the observation of a daily fast. The fasting period begins each day at dawn and ends at sunset. This means that Muslims must arise extra early each day to prepare and consume a pre-fast meal called the suhoor. Throughout the daylight hours they abstain from all food and drink until it is time to break fast with the meal known as iftar. This daily fasting continues without interruption throughout the entire lunar month, lasting 29 to 30 days.

I honour the commitment and sacrifice demonstrated by our Muslim friends and neighbours as they observe this fasting period. At the same time I acknowledge that religious fasting goes far beyond merely not eating or drinking. The desire to satisfy one’s appetite for food or drink is a natural human urge. Fasting, however, helps to develop and strengthen self-restraint and self-discipline, traits that are at the core of self-improvement in nearly every area of life.

People who learn to deny their cravings for the things that give life are more capable of denying things that harm themselves and others—things like anger, impatience and selfishness. Fasting also helps to teach both compassion and charity. Experiencing a small dose of privation each day for an entire month reminds participants that many people in the world go without food month after month. Self-restraint, however, puts us in a better position to share what we have with those whose lives are characterised by deprivation and hardship.

I have experienced firsthand the kindness and generosity of many Muslim friends and neighbours from a variety of communities and across all aspects of my life. During Ramadan invitations to participate in iftar meals are abundant, and I personally cherish these opportunities to mingle with people who desire to share not just their food but also their faith and compassion.

If we consider the deeply personal and formative role of religious beliefs and practices in the lives of people of faith, we will come to understand just how generous it is when people seek to share their faith with us. I am grateful that at this time of year we are welcomed into the hearts and lives of so many followers of the Islamic faith. I am grateful for all that Muslim communities bring to the city of ours. I am inspired by their examples of commitment and sacrifice in the pursuit of becoming better people. I am thankful for all they do to build strong homes and communities as they seek to serve others. I hope our Muslim friends and neighbours will find these final days of Ramadan a time of peace and joy.

National Capital Rally

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (3.36): I thank all the competitors in the Netier National Capital Rally that took place on the weekend both in Kowen Forest and out around Cotter and Tidbinbilla. For a rally rookie, as they called me, it was an amazing experience. It was wonderful to see locals Harry Bates and Lewis Bates make an appearance at the Netier National Capital Rally. Unfortunately, Lewis had some car issues where he managed to get a little bit too much air over a certain part of the Kowen Forest section of the rally and was unable to finish. Better luck next time, Lewis, because my money was on you beating your brother. Harry Bates did well to

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