The world recently witnessed the tragic incident in Tunisia in which a number of British citizens lost their lives at the hands of a brutal terrorist whilst enjoying their annual summer vacation. This heart breaking event inspired Minhaj-ul-Qur’an International UK ( MQI UK) to hold a community Iftar (opening of fast), a gathering to bring the people of Newham together in community cohesion, and a collective prayer for peace in remembrance of the victims of the terrorist attack in Tunisia.
The Mayor of Newham along with politician Mr Stephen Timms MP were present amongst other distinguished guests, outside the MQI London premises on Romford Road (E7 9HD), offering words of condolence and sorrow. The diverse community of Newham gathered together in unison expressing their sadness and grief for the needless and brutal loss of lives.
A heart felt candlelit vigil was held and a minute’s silence observed. The silence-filled atmosphere reflected the powerful expression of sadness at the senseless death of innocent people. The diverse multicultural and interfaith community of Newham stood shoulder to shoulder in solidarity alongside the Rt.Hon Stephen Timms (MP for East and Shadow Work and Pensions Minister), Chief Inspector Shabnum Chaudhri (Newham Police) and Cllr Paul Sathianesan (East Ham – representing the Mayor of Newham) and many other participants of all ages.
The event concluded with the opening of the fast with dates and all participants were subsequently served with traditional Asian foods and home baked cakes. A special thanks to Punjab Catering who kindly donated the delicious biriyani served to all and particularly enjoyed by the Metropolitan Police!
The event proved to be a great success in that the community of Newham were gathered together putting to one side their differences and celebrating their commonalities in the name of love and compassion for humanity.
MQI UK would like to offer its gratitude and special thanks to all the participants because without all of you the event would not have been a success. Special thanks to our guests:
- Cllr Liaqat Ali MBE (Walthamstow)
- Cllr Syei Akiwowo (Forest Gate)
- Cllr Unmesh Desai (East Ham Central)
- Cllr Mukesh Patel (Green St East)
- Cllr Hanif Abdul Muhit (Green St West and Lead Councillor for Green St Community Neighbourhood)
- Cllr Jose ALEXANDER (Green St East)
- Cllr Mas Patel (Forest Gate)
- Cllr Lakmini Shah
- Cllr Toni Wilson
- Father Matloob Barnabus, Emmanuel Church, Church of England
- Rev Christy or a representative, Westfield Multifaith Room
- Claire Clinton, R.E. Matters
- Gowri Pillai, Bridge Builders
- Charity Nzegwu, Methodist Church
- Father David Mow, Woodgate Church Community
- Chris Matthews, HWPL UK, Scripture Dialogue
Report by: Khadija Atkinson
- Note to Editor -
1. This is the second year running of Community Iftar, organised collectively of Minhaj-ul-Quran International London.
2. For further information with regards to community activities in the Newham area, please contact Muzammal Rafiq on 07943197703.