As Muslims across the world prepare for Ramadan, I want to send my best wishes to everyone observing the holy month.
This is a particularly special time for Britain’s 2.7 million Muslims, marking the month in which the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The themes of Ramadan - of contemplation and charity, compassion and community - give us an opportunity to show what the faith of Islam is really about.
This Ramadan I’m particularly delighted to see so many multi-faith iftars taking place across the country, under the banner of ‘The Big Iftar’, and following on from last year’s ‘Iftar 2012’. These locally-led events – the opportunity to share meals when many people come together to break their fast – are the perfect chance for mosques and community centres to throw open their doors to their neighbours, to bring together people of all faiths and none, and to help create a more integrated, stronger society.
So let me once again wish everyone a very happy and peaceful Ramadan.