Home' The Murray Pioneer : July 22nd 2014 Contents “THE MURRAY PIONEER” www.murraypioneer.com.au Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 3
By CAITLIN KEENAN
A small community of
Riverlanders are taking part in
the worldwide religious event
Renmark’s Turkish Islamic
Society has been observing
Ramadan in the Riverland for 25
The community has been led
for the past five years by their
Imam, Ihsan Uyanik, who moved
from Turkey with his two young
daughters and wife. The couple
recently had their third daughter.
Imam Uyanik said the commu-
nity used to meet at the old Ren-
mark High School, but now has a
mosque on Fourteenth Street.
“We have 20 families and 103
people,” he said.
“We had as many as 70 fami-
lies but a lot of them moved inter-
“Travellers and people who
have converted also come to the
mosque. Everyone is welcome to
Imam Uyanik said the month-
long fast of Ramadan – this year
held from June 28 to July 28 – is
a key principle of Islam.
“Normally in fasting it is a
month of worship in the lunar
month of Ramadan, in which
you abstain from eating, drinking
and sexual desires from dawn to
dusk,” he said.
“From sunrise to sunset we
can’t eat or drink or do anything,
after sunset it is ‘normal life’.
“Fasting strengthens volition
by taming one’s self and so give
power to resist bad habits.
“It cleanses the body and
teaches self control and self dis-
Imam said fasting was a part of
“Before (Islam) Christians
were fasting and before them Jew-
ish people were fasting,” he said.
“Allah almighty states in the
holy Koran, ‘All you who believe,
fasting it proscribed for you as it
was proscribed for those before
you, that ye may ward off evil’
(The Cow 183).”
Imam Uyanik said along with
self control, fasting in Ramadan
teaches people empathy for those
“Ramadan teaches us how
poor people live,” he said.
“We think about how we are
hungry at the moment, but there
are people around the world who
have to go without and don’t get
to eat for days at a time.
“Fasting is a training of morals
and behaviour which improves
the feelings of love, compassion
and mercy and purifies the soul
Imam Uyanik said not every
Muslim has gone without for the
“Not everybody has to fast,”
“The elderly, the very sick
and if you’re travelling more than
90km away you don’t have to fast
(on the day of travel), nor do peo-
ple who have mental issues.
“Children over 12 have to fast,
but those under 12 don’t have to.
“If someone has a temporary
sickness that requires medication
you can ‘not fast’ for that day, but
when Ramadan finishes you make
up one day for each that you did
“But if it’s a permanent sick-
ness, like diabetes, they pay $15
a day, to be given to those less
Imam Uyanik said Muslims
with jobs that are strenuous, such
as athletes in the recent soccer
World Cup, do not always have
“I know Algeria had a problem
this year in Brazil, so they asked
their Imam, ‘What can we do?’,”
“The Algerian Imam said,
‘You have to fast, you are young
you can play soccer and fast’.
“But mostly you do not have
to fast if it’s unhealthy. People use
Imam Uyanik said fasting was
a way for Muslims to become
closer to Allah and was not a
punishment for sin.
“The only time it is a punish-
ment is if you deliberately break
your fast,” he said.
“But if you forget you are
fasting and you accidentally eat
lunch, that’s no problem.”
Imam Uyanik said in addition
to fasting people visit the mosque
and pray more frequently during
the month of Ramadan.
“In Ramadan we pray daily
at night time,” he said. “A usual
night prayer is 13 steps but during
Ramadan we perform 33.”
Imam Uyanik said people
have two meals between dusk
and dawn to break the fast, often
meeting together for the evening
“When you invite someone to
break the fast together, it is the
opposite of sin, it is a good deed.
“At the end of Ramadan we
invite all of the people in our
community to have a big feast
called Bayram, which is for har-
“It is a big celebration.”
Imam Uyanik said anyone
with questions about Ramadan or
Islam could contact him, or visit
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Just one month after the
announcement of a Hungry Jack’s
outlet in Renmark, the fast food giant
has dropped a whopper bombshell –
Loxton can now expect a franchise in
the near future.
A Hungry Jack’s spokesperson told the
Murray Pioneer that Hungry Jack’s was con-
sidering establishing the burger and fries
outlet in Loxton – sometime after June next
“Hungry Jack’s regularly investigates new
locations for its restaurants and Loxton is
under active consideration,” the spokesper-
son said. “However, there are no plans for a
Hungry Jack’s in Loxton this financial year.”
The Pioneer understands the outlet could
be established within one of two existing
On The Run service stations operating in the
The addition of a Hungry Jack’s outlet in
Loxton is expected to create both excitement
and doubt, as it will be the first giant fast
food outlet to be established in the town’s
If established, Loxton will become also
one of the smallest towns in South Australia
to house a Hungry Jack’s restaurant.
Earlier this month, the Renmark Paringa
Council approved development plans to build
a Hungry Jack’s restaurant in Renmark.
The Burger King franchise is planned
to be built within an existing On the Run
service station on the corner of Renmark
Avenue and Twenty-first Street, Renmark.
The Hungry Jack’s spokesperson said the
establishment of the Renmark outlet would
create around 60 new jobs within the local
“It is anticipated that construction could
commence early in the new year,” the
Share your thoughts on the pos-
sibility of Hungry Jack’s coming to Lox-
ton on the Pioneer’s Facebook page at
Double whopper: Hungry’s to Loxton?
25 years of marking a
Renmark Turkish Islamic Society’s Imam, Ihsan Uyanik, is fasting, like many Muslims, for the Islamic
month of Ramadan. His daughters Iram Uyanik, 7, and Seyma, 9, will not fast until they are older.
INSET: Imam Uyanik, with Iram and Seyma inside the mosque.
PHOTOS: Will Slee
q Ramadan is a month of fast-
ing observed by the 1.6 billion
Muslims in the world.
q It is one of the five key prin-
ciples of Islam, the others being
belief in Allah, prayer, charity or
alms, and pilgrimage to Mecca.
q It is a lunar month, meaning
the date changes each year.
q This year it is from June 28 to
q Healthy Muslims fast from
dawn until dusk, not eating,
drinking or doing anything sexu-
al during these times.
q People who are ill, pregnant,
elderly, travelling, too young or
working in labour intensive jobs
do not have to fast.
q Muslims believe fasting
purifies the body and teaches
self control and awareness.
FAST FACTS ABOUT RAMADAN
Fasting is a training
of morals and behaviour
which improves the feelings
of love, compassion and
”- Imam Ihsan Uyanik
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