Ivory Coast Muslims shun social networks during Ramadan

30th May 2018
Ivory Coast Muslims shun social networks during Ramadan

By Fulbert Yao

 

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AA): Certain Muslims in the Ivory Coast have decided to deprive themselves of social media networks so as to devote more time to religious rites during the holy month of Ramadan.

Members of the Muslim community say they prefer to spend their free time in prayer and reading the Quran rather than on social networks.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are popular platforms in the West African nation.

In 2017, Internet access recorded more than 17 million subscriptions, compared to 10 million in 2016 and 200,000 in 2011, according to figures taken from Ivorian media reports.

Fatou Diallo, an Ivorian in her 30s, who is always active on social media networks decided to cut off from the services since the beginning of Ramadan.

“I have disconnected from social networks because it takes time. I realized that I had a tendency to easily get into an argument […] I completely disabled my Facebook account and others. I even uninstalled it from my phone,” she said with a smile.

She now uses her free time for religious activities.

“The time I took to read the news on Facebook is time lost. Now, I spend this time reading the Quran so I can finish it during this month,” Diallo said. “Outside the networks, I have my phone that is still working and friends who want to reach me can do it.”

Abu Sylla, 32-year-old salesman, who has been very active on the Internet also to deprive himself from the social media networks. This challenge, he says, is of spiritual benefit to him and it also allows him to maintain good health.

“I feel less tired when I wake up. I do not have as many headaches as when I stayed connected all the time,” Sylla, a father of two said.

– Social networks at the service of faith

Unlike Fatou and Sylla, other Muslims continue to use social networks, but for religious purposes.

Hamed Cissoko, an accountant who is always on the Internet for his job said that since the beginning of Ramadan, he navigates as little as possible.

“I do not go on all the pages, I visit the sites specialized in the teaching of Islam, I watch only religious films,” he confessed.

Some Muslim associations are not left out. They use networks to make calls for charity and donations.

The Muslim radio Al Bayane has called for donations on its Facebook page. The radio said they need 1 billion CFA francs ($1.8 million) for a Muslim television TV AL Bayane.

Muslims account for 43 percent of the total population of 23.7 million, according to figures from the last 2014 census.

[Photo: Culturel islamique, Marcory Côte dIvoire [Ivory Coast] By Zenman/Creative Commons]

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