London, Sep. 21 (ANI): The British Home Office employees have been asked not to eat in front of their Muslim colleagues during the month of Ramadan.
The civil-servants have been told that eating lunch near a colleague who is fasting can make them feel hungry.
"In practical terms, please be sensitive when eating lunch near a Muslim colleague who is fasting. This can make an individual feel hungrier and make it more challenging to observe the fast," The Telegraph quoted a five-page advice booklet released by The Home Office Islamic Network, as saying.
The advisory has also urged Home Office managers to be flexible over working hours because Muslims may be following a different routine during Ramadan.
"The most likely need Muslim staff may present to managers during this period is for flexibility around working hours and break times as those fasting will have a slightly different routine from usual. Managers and Muslim staff should discuss what their needs are and be responsive and sensitive," it said.
The document added: "Muslim staff who are fasting and whose environment allows it may wish to set out for work earlier than usual and finish their working day correspondingly early in line with flexi-time arrangements."
During the holy month of Ramadan, devout Muslims do not drink or eat from dawn until sunset and must avoid 'all obscene and irreligious sights and sounds', the advisory said.
The Home Office insisted that the booklet released by the Islamic Network was not "formal departmental guidance."
However, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, which claims to be fighting a 'political jihad against Islamophobia', attacked the document.
"It is designed to create more hatred in the hearts of non-Muslims. We don't care how much non-Muslims eat in front of us.
It's never been an issue and never will be and we have never asked for any special treatment or sensitivity from non-Muslims whilst fasting," it said. (ANI)