ENDING A FAST: The iftar brought together people from all faiths and backgrounds in Batley
ENDING A FAST: The iftar brought together people from all faiths and backgrounds in Batley

Multi-faith community comes together for charity and remembrance

An international charity based in Yorkshire hosted a special multi-faith iftar in Batley last month as communities came together in remembrance of Jo Cox MP and to raise money to help feed the hungry around the world.

The free event, titled ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ took place at Carlton Junior & Infant School at 7pm on Friday 24th June and was hosted by the Penny Appeal charity, featuring presentations, prayers and personal reminders from a range of guests.

Amongst those in attendance on the day were the Reverend Ann Pollard of Trinity Church, MP for Dewsbury and Mirfield Paula Sherriff and Leeds Makkah Masjid Imam Qari Asim MBE.

The iftar – the name of the evening meal that Muslims have to end their fast during Ramadan – began with a welcome by Carlton Junior school’s Ikram Butt and Shagufta Mirza.

This was followed by a traditional reciting from the Qur’an by Imam Asim, before Reverend Pollard and Ms Sherriff lead a remembrance piece for the late Jo Cox.

Ms Cox was tragically killed by a lone gunman just miles away from the primary school as she carried out her parliamentarian duties in the town of Birstall.

Carlton Junior school headteacher, Rizwana Mahmood, also paid her respects to the former MP prior to Maghrib prayers and the start of the iftar meal.

Harris Iqbal, UK Programmes Manager at Penny Appeal, said it was an event which brought out the best of the local community.

“The Love Thy Neighbour community iftaar in Batley was a truly exceptional experience,” he said.

“It was beautiful to see people of all faiths and none, and of different backgrounds and cultures, come together to break bread in the spirit of Ramadan.

“The blessed month is a time for hospitality, caring and sharing, as well as an opportunity to help others and create new friendships, so it was a pleasure to have the company of local councillors, MPs, faith leaders and residents and for everyone to come together in remembrance, celebration and charity.”

The event raised money for Feed Our World, Penny Appeal’s programme to provide nutritious meals to people in over 30 crisis-hit countries around the world. Donations can be made at any time by calling 03000 11 11 11 or visiting www.pennyappeal.org.