Monday, April 15, 2024

UK Cathedral Hosts Ramadan Dinner. So We're All Friends Now, Right?; Bristol Grand Iftar Celebrated at Cathedral

Tara Todras-Whitehill
UK Cathedral Hosts Ramadan Dinner. So We're All Friends Now, Right?
It was a big night in the English city of Bristol last Friday, when the Bristol Cathedral staged an event that its organizers hope will herald a new era of peace, love and understanding not just in Bristol itself, but in all of Britain and all over the West. The Anglican cathedral played host to a Grand Iftar, that is, the meal breaking the Ramadan feast, for the local Muslim community. What a noble, beautiful gesture, right? Now the local Muslims will surely respond to this gesture of welcome and generosity with one of their own, won’t they?
Bristol 24/7 reported Friday that this was not just a one-off; it’s an annual event, “organised [that’s ‘organized’ in the King’s English, as opposed to Old Joe Biden’s] by Muslims4Bristol in partnership with Bristol Cathedral and Bridges for Communities.” The event this year built on earlier victories for coexistence: “Following the success of the Grand Iftar on College Green in 2023, the event inside the cathedral was a special collaboration between faith communities in Bristol with the theme of hope.”
This was the first time that the dinner had been held inside the cathedral itself, and everything went swimmingly. Mohamed El Sharif, one of this year’s organizers, was all smiles, saying that the iftar was “unique and historical,” and explaining that it was designed “to show unity and peace and is an interfaith event.” He emphasized that since this was the first Grand Iftar to be held inside the cathedral, it was “a historical event to happen here with all volunteers.”
Savvy politicians, aware that such an event was a good place to be seen and photographed, were on hand in large numbers: “Attendees inside from the Labour Party included MPs Thangam Debbonaire and Kerry McCarthy, deputy mayor Asher Craig and Bristol Labour group leader Tom Renhard.” Not to be outdone, the Green Party, which is even farther to the left than Labour, sent its “police & crime commissioner candidate Katy Grant.” Some English Conservatives-in-name-only were there as well, “including Bristol Conservative group leader Mark Weston.”
And so a splendid time was had by all. And really, it was all wonderfully generous, tolerant, ecumenical, and all that. Still, the event raises a few questions. One that fairly leaps out is the fact that while events such as this one have been going on fairly regularly for years, there is never, ever any reciprocity. Why are Christian services never, ever held in mosques? Why is the “outreach” only one way? --->READ MORE HERE (or HERE)
Bristol Grand Iftar celebrated at cathedral:
Hundreds of people have come together to celebrate the Islamic Grand Iftar at Bristol Cathedral.
People from multiple faiths came to celebrate the Grand Iftar which was held at the cathedral for the first time on Thursday.
Iftar marks the end of daily fasting during Ramadan and is open to non-muslims.
Organisers said it was a special collaboration between faith groups around the idea of 'hope'.
The Bristol Cathedral event was organised by Muslims4Bristol in partnership with Bristol Cathedral and Bridges for Communities.
The event started in Bristol in 2017 as a way of promoting peace and unity following the Manchester Arena bombing.
Busharat Alile, who sits on the organising committee of the Grand Iftar, said it was a great privilege to host a multi-faith event at Bristol Cathedral.
"It is such a great message for the rest of the world that Bristol is united, regardless of their faith, their colour or their background," he said.
"We stand for humanity, we stand for peace, we stand for justice around the world." --->READ MORE HERE
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