Stephen Timms joins Forest Gate feast to remember terror victims

Stephen Timms MP joined Minhaj-ul-Quran's congregation to break the fast (Pic by Minhaj-ul-Quran)

Stephen Timms MP joined Minhaj-ul-Quran's congregation to break the fast (Pic by Minhaj-ul-Quran) - Credit: Archant

On Saturday, Forest Gate Muslims marked the end of Ramadan by celebrating Eid al-Fitr, also called the Feast of Breaking the Fast.

For Adnan Sohail, of Minhaj-ul-Quran, it was the latest opportunity for Muslims to encourage community cohesion.

As part of its Ramadan celebrations, the Romford Road mosque welcomed Stephen Timms MP to a Community Iftar along with more than 250 others.

Iftar is a holy observance of the religious month, which encourages communal dining to break daylight fasting.

But Adnan said the gathering, in which non-Muslims joined Muslims for food, also had a solemn message.

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“It was in memory of the people who died in Tunisia,” he said. “Ramadan is a time to remember those less fortunate in the world.”

The 38 victims of the Tunisia terror attack, carried out by Islamist gunman Seifeddine Rezgui, were remembered with a candlelit vigil.

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And, after a minute’s silence, Mr Timms joined Newham Police’s Chief Insp Shabnum Chaudhri in breaking the fast with dates before traditional Asian food and homemade cakes were served.

Adnan said it was an opportunity for Muslims to show the meaning of Ramadan to non-Muslims by engaging them in the celebrations.

“We served food to show the importance of Ramadan and got the community to join in, with everybody breaking fast together,” he said.

“It was inspiring – it helped community cohesion and showed the strength of the community.”

And on Friday, Minhaj-ul-Quran invited non-Muslims to Chaand Raat, a celebration held the day before Eid.

“Between 200 and 300 people came together to celebrate,” he said.

“It included our congregation, local Muslims and the wider community – everybody was invited.

“And on Saturday Minhaj-ul-Quran celebrated Eid, which is a celebration of being grateful to God and enjoying for one day the blessings of God.”

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