It’s the holy month of Ramadan – a time when mosques open their doors, community centres welcome in their neighbours, and even churches and synagogues offer up their spaces as Muslims break their fasts – and people of all faiths and none are often asked to join.
Coventry Cathedral is holding its own multi-faith iftar. In Manchester, they’re combining an iftar with England’s European Championships appearance. And homeless shelters up and down the country are holding ‘Iftars with the Homeless’.
Of course, fasting is what comes to mind when we think of Ramadan. It’s part of the month that really puts Muslims’ faith to the test – especially during these long, warm days.
But there is much more to it.
There is all the energy and money people donate to those who are less fortunate and all the extra time spent in prayer and contemplation.
Uppermost in all our minds this Ramadan are those whose lives have been torn apart by the twin evils of Assad and Daesh, all those families spending this holy month in refugee camps mourning loved ones; yearning to go back to school or work; wondering when they’ll return home again.
Our thoughts – whatever our backgrounds or beliefs – are with them. And we must continue to support the people of Syria and the region, as we work towards a lasting political solution. Because that’s who we are as a country. We won’t walk on by. So this Ramadan, let’s renew our resolve to help those victims.
Let’s continue to come together for iftars and community events. Let’s celebrate the proud, multi-racial, multi-faith democracy we live in. To everyone in Britain and around the world – Ramadan Mubarak.