Almost 5-million South Africans of all religions, races and sizes haveÂ signed a petition asking Muslims to brush their teeth during theÂ fasting month.
An Avaaz petition signed and delivered to the large Muslim communityÂ in South Africa on Tuesday urged â€œfor common sense to prevail and theÂ madness to endâ€.
â€œWe are asking our Muslims brothers and sisters to brush their teeth,â€Â the petition said.
But Muslims across the country say they refuse to brush their teethÂ during the fasting month in which they aren’t allowed food, water orÂ recreational activities like sex during office hours. Many MuslimsÂ believe brushing their teeth during the day would nullify the fast.
â€œFirst they ask us to brush our teeth, next they will ask us to leaveÂ our religion,â€ Imran Yunus said.Â â€œBad breath is part of our cultural heritage.â€
The Islamic Medical Association (IMA) said on Tuesday that it was notÂ the first time Muslims were being accused of foul breath.
A Muslim lawyersâ€™ group told The Daily Vox the petition would have noÂ clout in a South African court and that Muslims were well within theirÂ rights to be miffed.
Experts across the country say bad breath is to Ramadaan whatÂ fireworks are to Diwali.
â€œThey just scare people,â€ one unnamed expert said.