To 3FF, food and interfaith are not strange concepts. At the Interfaith Summit, the training sessions for alumni, the various events held in the name of cohesion and unity, food is a comfortable presence. The annual 3FF Iftar is therefore no different, a gathering to break bread for the end of your fast with others.
When Aqeelah and I were thinking about this year’s Iftar, we wanted to focus more learning about the fundamentals of Ramadan, the practise of fasting and why it is so important to Muslims. The morning of the Iftar we hosted we learnt about the horrid attack on Finsbury Mosque, a horrible reminder of why it is integral for communities to stand together in the face of hate and adversity.
We began the evening discussing some provocative statements, talking about how awkward others can feel to eat in front of you. How some even feel as though you are punishing your body. Then, we shared our own experiences of fasting and discussed the significance of Ramadan. How, after a few days in you realise starving your body off food and water is the least of your worries. Ramadan is a welcome reminder for you to mind your words and actions. It’s also the month during which we try and complete the Quran and learn more about our faith. Muslims give to charitable causes abundantly and work to bring communities closer.
We were grateful for Lord Bourne, Under Secretary of State for Faith and Integration, to say a few words about the Iftars he has attended and for reiterating the importance of getting together in the light of terrorist attacks.
This year’s Iftar just so happened to fall on the same weekend as the Great Get Together, inspired by the life of Jo Cox. Amidst the recent tragedies and divisive politics this Iftar it was incredibly touching to see so many people choose to come together, learn and embrace what we have in common.
Thank you to Near Neighbours for supporting the event and thank you to all of you who came. Until next Ramadan!