RfPUK was invited by Naz Legacy Foundation to attend an interfaith Iftar, Khushnuma Anklesaria represented us at the gathering.
Here are her report and photos.
On Tuesday night I was fortunate enough to be one of 80 people of all faiths and none from across London invited to The Archbishop’s House in Westminster for an Interfaith Iftar run by the Naz Legacy Foundation.
I attended the Interfaith Iftar with the Mayor of London at the Archbishop’s House representing Religions for Peace UK and as a person of Zoroastrian faith.
His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols with the Chief Rabbi and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan were opening the Iftar (fast) together with all of us from different faiths at 9.21pm.
Ramadan is a time of self-development and consideration for Muslims around the world, and the Chief Rabbi, Cardinal Nichols and Sadiq Khan all reflected this in their opening remarks. The Chief Rabbi particularly built on Talmudic discussion that just as the moon (an important symbol in Ramadan and for the Jewish lunar calendar) can only reflect the light of the sun, so too must we try to reflect the light of those around us.
As well as breaking the Ramadan fast with Muslim attendees, we were able to reflect in small groups about what we can do to bring different communities together to benefit London and our wider society. Groups came up with plenty of different ideas that were discussed with the two faith leaders and the Mayor of London that can be implemented locally, including shared homework or after school clubs between local schools (faith or non-faith), sports groups, music groups for people to get to know one another in informal settings and open up places to ask questions about faith or belief, or other events like the one that we were all attending.
Before discussing our own ideas to bring communities together, a young Muslim participant called Amira spoke about why she was there and said “in this room, I see hope”. If the Iftar is anything to go by, people across London have a real desire to connect our communities together and find strength in our differences rather than division. All of us left with a sense of having had their voices heard by people leading our society, and with new connections and ideas to bring back to their own contexts.
June 13, 2017