Laura Stuart: Reflections on my 7 day hunger strike

Laura Stuart, who has just completed a seven day hunger strike in solidarity with Muslim prisoners, wrote this blog piece on the last day of her fast.

The days have gone past quickly and I’m on the last day of my hunger strike. My aim is to show solidarity with the detainees in Guantanamo and Palestine, today though I am even more distressed and distracted by the news coming from Egypt where our brothers and sisters are being murdered by the military regime. The believers are under attack everywhere by anti Islam forces and we remain divided and weak as an Ummah, like sitting ducks.

Yesterday I started to feel tired and really had a strong desire to eat fruit and drink fruit juice; the combined effect of fasting Shawwal increases the thirst. On the other hand I feel that if I had taken the decaffeinated coffee and tea allowed to us on hunger strike, then it might have made me feel hungry and also feel harsh on my very empty stomach.

I still have no strong hunger pangs, which is amazing and just shows how we as Muslims are trained to face hunger by fasting. In fact I am sure that this hunger strike is much easier for us as Muslims, who are used to fasting and have or should have conditioned ourselves to control our most base desires. At the same time I really salute those non-Muslims taking part, it should give us hope that there are still those who believe in justice.

I have resumed walking outside, albeit quite a bit slower than usual, but I felt I must continue with a normal routine. Yesterday and today I walked and felt absolutely fine, other than walking up a lot of steps which got my heart pumping.


I really would recommend others to take this action and join the campaign: combined with Ramadan and Shawwal it has given me an opportunity to reflect and to feel myself become much more spiritually aware and detached from the wordly life of consumerism and materialism which I guess is what keeps many Muslims too busy to become a powerful force in the world.

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The new religion of materialism just deadens the heart and stops us feeling pain when we really need to have that empathy towards the oppressed to encourage us to become active.

As I see my hunger strike comes to end I have become increasingly happy that I will be able to eat and drink normally, though slowly for a few days at least. I do feel rather humbled by the steadfastness of the detainees for whom hunger striking is open-ended.

I made my pledge for 7 days and by the Will of Allah swt I will finish it – but it is somewhat easier for me to do since I know that I will return to a normal life very soon Inshallah. How must it feel to not be able to see a definite end to your incarceration and torture? Unlike criminals who have a sentence which stipulates detention for a set period of time many political detainees are not charged with any crime, yet remain either under administrative detention in Guantanamo or other similar sites around the world.

If you feel able to take up the baton and join this campaign please contact Cageprisoners on the link below:

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