You’re invited to our first #LibDemIftar

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Today is the the first day of Ramadan. And because of COVID-19, it’s different this year for Muslims. No family or friends to join the experience so this year it will be virtual. The meal at the end of day, the Iftar, can be shared on Zoom!

Thank you to all those who are joining MPs and others for the very first #LibDemIftar.

Despite it being tough to fast, some members have agreed to have a go and show solidarity with me and other Muslims. Muslims in the country and around the world will be abstaining from food and drink, for a month everyday, from sunset to sunrise. This year will be more challenging for Muslims across the country, like many other faiths, they will be staying at home and abstaining from sharing traditional activities with friends and family.

As a Muslim myself, I have seen many of my brothers and sisters from Christian, Jewish, Tamil and other faith and minority groups celebrate their special festivals on Zoom, through WhatsApp and FaceTime. This has been like no other time in our history. But the strength we can build from this can be mutual understanding. Even during a period when we are being told to stay home, we can still come together and support each other.

Ed Davey will be the first party leader to have ever fasted in Ramadan, and he’s doing this to show his solidarity with many Muslims who will find this month difficult. Fasting is always a challenge but doing it without the support of your loved ones is even more difficult. I’m so pleased to see other prominent LibDems join in like Layla Moran and Siobhan Benita as well as diversity officers and activists.

I admit, I find fasting hard but every time I do, I realise how lucky I am that I can turn on a tap and drink water whenever I want, or pick a snack from the fridge. This lockdown has forced us all into a weird abstinence – the longing to sit in a coffee shop, visit friends and family, makes you realise how lucky we were and to appreciate it more when you get it back.

If you are joining the fast, thank you. If you are unable because of health reasons or you’re not sure about it – don’t worry, you can always join in with the Zoom #LibDemIftar on Saturday 25th April. Muslims often end the fast with a date, but please bring your choice of food and drink and join us for a chat about our experiences that day.

Please register here for your invite.

Click here to download the brief to give you more background about the event and how you can even raise the profile of a charity if you wish.

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday. #RamadanMubarak

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

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3 Comments

  • I do not wish to offend Muslims who are fasting as part of their faith, but I don’t recall Ed Davey giving up anything for Lent to show solidarity with Christians. We’ve got to get away from this daft pecking order of religions where Muslims are top, everyone else second and Christians last. The Party lost one good Leader because of Christianphobia a few years ago.

    I suggest a pledge by all candidates in the Leadership Election whenever it comes “We will not show off by attending religious events unless we are a committed member of the faith concerned”

  • Gary J – I completely disagree with you. Where to begin? In the first place how can you possibly know whether Ed Davey has given anything up for Lent? He is a Christian so he probably has.
    Historically in this country Christianity has been at the top of the religious pecking order – if you insist on using that rather offensive phrase. So it is right that other faiths get a look in.
    When I was Mayor in Kingston I set up a Faith in Civic Life working group, bringing together a number of faith leaders in the Borough. We then held civic services in the mosque, the synagogue and in my own church. They were inspirational events and helped everyone to better understand the beliefs and practices of a range of faiths. I hope you agree that is good practice under any interpretation.

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