Chag Pesach Sameach

Embed from Getty Images

My daughter was really upset last night when she looked at her calendar. “How can we celebrate Ramadan without our family?” She like many children from different faith groups are having this conversation, Easter eggs hunts have been cancelled, Sri Lankan and Tamil New year celebrations halted and this week Passover begins for the Jewish communities across the country but this year will be like no other.

In these difficult and concerning times for our nation, it seems out of place to talk or write about anything other than the pandemic gripping our country, but I think it’s important that we continue to find moments of hope and joy, and it is in this vein I would like to wish everyone “Chag Pesach Sameach”.

It has been a challenging few years for the Jewish community, with anti-Semitism on the resurgence in our society, including at the highest echelons of power. As a Muslim, I can strongly empathise with being made to feel like you don’t belong. As we commemorate the Jewish exodus from Egypt, we must ensure that our society never resembles the one established by the Pharoahs, where the Jewish minority was exploited and discriminated against.

This isn’t the easiest time to be commemorating a religious festival. Our nation is facing an unprecedented crisis, and our attentions will be focused on supporting the most vulnerable around us. As a Muslim, I will be in the same boat as the holy month of Ramadan begins in a couple of weeks, and I have myself been thinking about how I will be spending the month, in the absence of communal rituals. These festivals are usually meant to be times for families and communities to come together and share in what is most important. To lose this, at this most challenging of times, will not be easy. We must not underestimate the impact that this loss will have on already isolated individuals, some of whom may be vulnerable to mental health issues.

I am proud, that the Lib Dems have been at the forefront of recognising the mental health implications of self-isolation, leading the recent cross-party call for improved mental health support. With our party’s rich tradition of community activism, we are particularly aware of the importance of communities coming together, and of the social and psychological disruptions which stem from this not being possible.  Despite this, it has been heartening to see how the last few weeks have brought wonderful displays of community solidarity to the fore, whether it’s communities organising applause for our brave health workers, or mutual aid groups being set up around the country to provide help to those who need it most.

Let’s capitalise on this community spirit this Passover, and make sure we reach out to our Jewish colleagues, neighbours and friends. Whilst Passover may not be the same for them this year, we can all play our part to make it a more special occasion.

* Hina Bokhari is a Liberal Democrat member of the London Assembly.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

2 Comments

  • There’s also A Christian Festival this weekend in case you’ve missed it Hana.

  • Gary:
    Yep, and there are Shri Lankan and Tamil festivals too – see the first paragraph of Hina’s piece.

    But I’m not sure that too many Christians in this country have to cope with anti-Christian prejudice.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Fiona
    @David - I'm not sure why you think it's relevant to bring up the implementation of vaccine passports in Scotland, but if you ask a bunch of people who self-sel...
  • theakes
    Why oppose Passports, they are essential. Has Davey been to a Night Club recently, he might then change his mind....
  • Peter Chambers
    Do bots have rights? Do sock-puppet accounts created by political operators have rights? We can argue for the right to anonymous political speech because ...
  • Simon R
    I understand the argument that, even while pursuing a long term zero-carbon aim, we will continue to need some oil. But there are already ample supplies being p...
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    Ruth You do not need to justify or explain your comments, which, as always, are received with , not misunderstanding, but real appreciation. I believe my ...