Lord Earl Howe, MoD Minister and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords and patron of
Armed Forces Muslim Forum
Ahmed J Versi
Armed Forces Muslim Forum (AFMF) organised its annual iftar [breaking of fast] reception at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) headquarters in London on July 7.
Lord Earl Howe, MoD Minister and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, who is a patron of AFMF, welcoming the guests, said events like iftar reception, are “hugely significant” and AFMF “is proud to champion them.”
The Minister said: “The appalling acts of terror such as those in Tunisia recently, and those that London witnessed a decade ago can sometimes make it easy to lose hope as we see the consequences of hate.”
However, he added that the “extremist minority in no way represent us or our society, and events like those we are celebrating tonight remind us that we are far better defined by unity; different communities throwing open their doors and inviting everyone in to understand, share and respect. By uniting around the values we share such as respect for the law, freedom and tolerance we convert hate to hope.”
Islamic Religious Advisor to the MoD, Imam Asim Hafiz, said, “Over the years we have often seen misunderstandings between the Muslim communities and the Armed Forces. As such, it’s extremely important that the Armed Forces holds events like this where we are all brought together to improve mutual understanding. It’s important that Defence as a whole takes an interest in the diverse nature of the employees that make up the workforce, and recognising Ramadan is part of that.”
The Armed Forces Muslim Forum was launched in July last year.
A Spokesperson said the AFMF is an “apolitical body, it seeks to build a positive and better relationship between the British Armed Forces and the British Muslim communities through dialogue, conversation and collaboration. The existence of the Forum underlines the strong relationship that exists between the Armed Forces and the Muslim community and shows the Ministry of Defence’s commitment to strengthening it.”