Ahmed J Versi
“Events such as this help bring communities together, promote better understanding and create a healthy environment to foster real change,” said Deputy Town Clerk, City of London, Susan Attard, at an Eid event at the prestigious and historical Guildhall.
The event was held jointly by City of London Police Association of Muslim Police and City of London Corporation Muslim Staff Network.
Attard praised the Muslim community for facing up to fasting this year during the very hot and long days in Ramadan. “The month challenges Muslims, tests their strengths and reinforces the willpower necessary to persevere throughout the day without food or water between dawn and sunset. And it’s definitely been a challenging month this year through those long summer days.”
She said that this year there were a lot of interfaith events during Ramadan. “This Ramadan, London has demonstrated some encouraging and heartfelt interfaith connections. Synagogues across the capital opened their doors to the Muslim community and provided meals in the evening for the purposes of breaking the fast at sunset. And similarly Muslim communities opened the doors of the mosques to the general public to witness the sense of community reinforced during Ramadan.”
Susan said the City Corporation allow groups like London Corporation Muslim Staff Network at the work place as “the aim of the Networks is to provide employees an inclusive, safe and confidential forum to network and support each other; share ideas and best practice, and to help the City Corporation to better understand the people who work for it and consequently for the business to perform better.”
She added that Muslims are making phenomenal contributions to British life. “British Muslims play an essential part in the economic and cultural life of this great country. They contribute an astonishing £31 billion to our economy. More than 100,000 British Muslims work in senior management positions in Britain – as doctors, accountants and lawyers. Here in London, Muslim businesses create more than 70,000 jobs.”
Welcoming the guests, President of the National Association of Muslim Police, Asif Sadiq, said the Eid event “not only marks the end of Ramadan, which is a significant event in the Muslim calendar, but it’s a great opportunity for different communities to come and experience the festival of Eid with their Muslim colleagues in the City. The event is made up of people of various faiths and has representation from Police Officers, charity organisations, government officials, embassies and City professional who represent a broad range of careers. This year’s event was focused on inter faith work and the importance of communities working together. ”
Shohel Ahmed of the Muslim Staff Network said, “It was an excellent evening celebrating the end of Ramadan and bringing together people of different backgrounds under an iconic venue. I want to thank the City of London Corporation and the City of London Police for their support, and hope to count on their continued support for future years”.
Commander Wayne Chance of the City of London Police said he “cannot overemphasise the centrality of interfaith harmony and interreligious cooperation to our shared vision for a prosperous, peaceful and pluralistic future.”
“And what way to celebrate our diversity, strengthen our relationships and commit ourselves to community cohesion that in this very grand, iconic setting,” he added.