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‘Ramadan radio’ hits the airwaves live from Forest Gate HQ

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 July 2014

Left to right: guest Shehroze Khan, 22, guest Darshana Lathigra, 42, presenter, Abdul Malik, 48, presenter Usman Shah, 23 and presenter Muzammel Rafiq

Left to right: guest Shehroze Khan, 22, guest Darshana Lathigra, 42, presenter, Abdul Malik, 48, presenter Usman Shah, 23 and presenter Muzammel Rafiq

Archant

A Muslim group in Forest Gate has launched a radio station to discuss current affairs during the month of Ramadan and beyond.

Guest Darshana Lathigra, 42 Guest Darshana Lathigra, 42

Ramadan 87.9FM was set up by Minhaj-ul-Qur’an, which this week held a special festival outside its mosque in Romford Road to mark the end of a day’s fast.

The station has hosted Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s shadow justice secretary, councillors and campaigners to discuss topics, ranging from international issues such as Palestine and local NHS issues.

Station manager Adnan Sohail, who is also project manager for the mosque’s Minhaj Welfare Foundation, said: “A group of volunteers decided that they wanted to do something for Ramadan.”

For the Iftar festival on Friday, the first of its kind, he said they sought to combine their culture with the breaking of the fast at sunset.

Iftar means breakfast in Arabic and refers to this sunset meal during Ramadan.

Adnan said that the festival offered food and they held a “candle-lit vigil for all people who passed away in all sorts of terrible ways” in disasters around the world.

Guests at the festival from 8.30pm to 9.30pm included East Ham MP Stephen Timms and Supt Ian Larnder of Newham police.

A spokesman for the foundation said: “We had almost 200 people attending, of whom many were just passersby who joined the event.

“We had priests from the local churches and a rabbi.

“Each religious leader and Stephen Timms gave a short speech in regards to world peace and working on a collective agenda for social cohesion and for peace.”

There was also two minutes’ silence for the Palestinians who have died in Israeli attacks in Gaza, and guests then broke the fast with a meal.

Minhaj-ul-Qur’an was founded by Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a Pakistani theologian who authored a fatwa against terrorism and suicide bombing in 2010.

Earlier this year it published a book on Muhammad as part of its work to counter what it considers false interpretations of Islam.

To hear Ramadan 87.9FM visit ramadanfm2014.co.uk, and for more information about Minhaj-ul-Qur’an go to minhajuk.org/minhajuk.

Read more:

Olympic Park gets new Anglican minister for Stratford Christians

Ramadan diary: Upton Park Imam says fasting helps to reflect

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