“Big Iftar” by British Muslims: Path to Racial Harmony
British mosques have organized a nationwide initiative to open their doors to people of all faiths to share iftar during the holy month of Ramadan, offering their neighbors a chance to learn about Islam and forge relationships with the Muslim minority.
The initiative offers Muslims' neighbors a chance to learn about Islam and forge relationships with the Muslim minority.
"It comes when myth-busting is more important than ever," said Baroness Warsi, Minister for Faith and Communities.
"Research earlier this year showed that less than a quarter of people thought Muslims were compatible with the British way of life", she added.
"The Big Iftar" organized by British Muslims across the UK is a path to racial harmony with the wider community.
Warsi addressed one event held at the Brent Civic Centre in north-west London, where the guests gathered around a trestle table laden with rice, noodles, curries, samosas and, in keeping with Iftar tradition, dates and liquid yogurt.
"It's about reaching out," said the Big Iftar's founder, Mustafa Field, 32, a project manager from Brent.
"Once you get to know your neighbors you start to understand each other's cultures."
Mark Buckley, 40, a Christian, welcomed the opportunity to engage with another faith.
"Just as Christians need to get out of their church walls, Muslims have to get out of the mosque walls and engage with people in the real world," he said.
During Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Around the globe, Muslims observe Ramadan with a set of traditional rituals including family gathering at iftar, religious lessons, special evening prayer and helping the poor.
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