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Interfaith Iftar & Countering Extremism through Faith 2017

Tuesday 20 June 2017

The Islamic Cultural Center in London held an iftar partywith representatives from various faiths, the Metroplitan Police, local member of Parliament Karen Buck MP and community leaders. The ceremony was attended by more than 130 representatives from 12 faiths and religious sects. The delegation was attended by Ambassador Dato Aminuddin Ihsan, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam in London, Mr. Abdulmumen bin Mohammed Sharaf, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia and representatives of the Embassy of Indonesia Turkey, Pakistan.

Sheikh Khalifa Head Imam opened the evening with recitation of a few verses of the Holy Quran, the Director General of the Islamic Cultural Center, Dr. Ahmad Al-Dabayan, welcomed the guests to the and expressed his happiness to see everyone again. He highlighted that this event was arranged well before all the sad incidents which have recently occurred and we insisted not to change the date of this event as it's better to meet in the 'hard days'.

Dr Dubayan then explained that the event is dedicated to share moments of Ramadan together and to pass on some true knowledge about the Islam and the month of Ramadan itself (holy month of fasting).

"Ramadan is the month of mercy, it is the month of solidarity with other people. Fasting is a kind of worship. Quran tells us to fast as in any other faiths do; fasting is a religion. We fast following the instructions of Allah and at the same time to remember those who are poor and do not have enough food to feed themselves. Ramadan is the month where every Muslim must look after their parents, spouse, children and neighbours. It is the month of generosity and being generous is one of the good manners and behaviours in Islam."

Dr Dubayan pointed out that today we have come together to share the meaning of love, mercy, solidarity with each other.

Speakers List

Dr Ahmad Al Dubayan
Director General
The London Central Mosque Trust

Karen Buck MP
Member of Parliament for Westminster North

David Stringer
Chief Superintendent Metropolitan Police

Sheikh Khalifa Ezzat
Head Imam
The London Central Mosque Trust

Venerable Stephan Welch
Arch Deacon of Middlesex Representing the Bishop of London

Gillian Merron
Chief Exec. of the Board of Deputies of British Jews

Father Stephen Wang
Dean of Marylebone Church

Marigold Bentley
Asst General Secretary, Quaker

Phiroza Gan Kotwal
Phiroza Gan Kotwal Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe

His Grace Bishop Angaelos
Coptic Orthodox Church

Tricia Hillas
Revd Canon - St Pauls Cathedral

Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE
Chairman of the Arab-Jewish Forum

Venerable Mioshang Shih
Foguang Shan Bhuddist Order. Abbes of London

Professor Harbhajan Singh
Sikh Community Leader

Jay Lakhani
Hindu Council of Britain

David Hampshire
Inter Faith Network UK

The Revd Dr Anders Bergquist
St Johns Wood Church

Mr Laurence Julius
Member of the Board of Deputies
of British Jews

Andrea Cooper
Salvation Army

St Clements Church

Peter Bennets
Event Host & Interfaith Coordinator ICC

He remembered all the sad incidents which occurred in the United Kingdom in past few months including Manchester Arena, London Bridge, Finsbury Park Mosque and the Grenfell Tower and stressed that these incidents clearly showed how much we need to work together and that the message must be delivered by all the faith groups to the wider society who are ignorant of their own faiths and also to those who misleads innocent people.

It is highly important to reach out the young generation and spread the true meaning of peace and solidarity. "The young generation must understand faith in the right way. We from all the faiths and backgrounds have gathered here to celebrate peace and solidarity and this indeed is a great example that we can live together peacefully. We really hope In'ShaAllah that this may bring some positive change in the younger generation and they would be able to do something better for the society.

Dr Dubayan pointed out the advanced technology cannot be controlled and due to many false information in the media the young generation are not able to identify reliable sources of information and sadly many of them get carried away by the false information.

Our responsibility as a religious organisation is to work together with the authorities try to bring things back to the reliable sources and try to spread the real message of peace.

Dr Dubayan concluded his speech with a hope that this gathering may bring love, mercy, good relation and good intention from The Islamic Cultural Centre to everyone present and to show what Islam truly says. Finally, He thanked all the respected guests for attending and honouring the ICC with their presence.

Above: Dr Ahmad Al Dubayan's full speech

"The main goal of our meeting is that we believe in God and that religion has great value in our daily lives and that spiritual values are important to all," said Karen Buck MP.

Karen Buck MP also pointed out that the United Kingdom had witnessed a number of sad events recently, but said that she was very happy that the community stood together in a cohesive and solidarity and that it was not and would not be divided. She also thanked the Islamic Cultural Center and its Director Dr. Ahmed Al Dubayan for their efforts and services to strengthen relations between Muslims and other religions in Britain.

Chief Superintendent David Stringer of the Metropolitan Police, said that Islam is a religion of tolerance, co-existence and cooperation, and that mosques and religious centers bear responsibility for portraying this true and true image of Muslims and society. He also stressed that the police stand in the service of all religions, Colonel on the importance of dialogue between religions to remove the misconceptions and fear of the other in society and this in turn will reduce the crimes of hatred against the other.

This was followed by many speeches by all representatives of religions from Jews, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus. All thanked the Center and the Islamic community and offered their condolences to the victims of the attack in Finsbury Park London and the victims of the fire in London and thanked the police and emergency services and the British government for their full support and service. The representatives stressed the importance of interfaith dialogue to promote cooperation and understanding between religions and society and the importance of condemning terrorist attacks that could not divide society. He thanked all the Islamic Cultural Center and its Trustees for the invitation and hospitality during the occasion.

Links to News Article in Arabic

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