I want to send my best wishes to Muslims in Britain and around the world observing Eid al-Adha. This festival of sacrifice is a chance for us to come together and to reflect upon those less fortunate, especially those forced to make sacrifices themselves.
I think of all the Muslims who have come to Britain over the years – from the Indian subcontinent to the Balkans, from the Arab world to Africa, from Turkey to Kurdistan, and people from all parts of Asia – sacrificing so many things to build up Britain’s businesses, run our public services and strengthen our society. Their children and grandchildren – British Muslims in our country today – help to make Britain the success story it is today.
As we mark 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, I think particularly of the sacrifices hundreds of thousands of Muslims made to fight alongside the Allies. The freedom for which they fought – for which so many gave their lives – is the freedom we all enjoy today.
Above all, I think of all those around the world being forced to sacrifice everything in order just to stay alive. The displaced in Iraq, the beleaguered in Syria, the wounded in Gaza, the exposed in Eastern Europe – these people are giving up all they have to protect their families.
People here in Britain are giving what they can to help those in need – especially British Muslims, who are the most giving faith community in this country. This Eid, we will be thinking of those at the mercy of these conflicts and come together to pray for peace.
So once again, wherever you are spending Eid, let me wish you and your family my very best wishes. Eid Mubarak.