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Multifaith iftar brings Manchester citizens together

21 June 2015

On Sunday 21st June Faith Network for Manchester (FN4M) and the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester hosted a multifaith Iftar at the Manchester Multifaith Centre on Thompson Street in Manchester's city centre. An Iftar is the meal eaten at the end of a day of fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Fifty people of all faiths and none attended the event including the Lord Mayor of Manchester Cllr Paul Murphy OBE and the Lady Mayoress and the Bishop of Manchester the Rt Rev David Walker

At the beginning of the evening the guests were welcomed by Rev Andy Williams of FN4M and Qaisra Shahraz, Vice Chair of FN4M and Executive member of the Muslim Jewish Forum. Short speeches were then delivered about fasting in several religions

  1. The Bishop of Manchester discussed fasting in Christianity and in particular, Lent
  2. Mohammed Amin, Co-Chair of the Muslim Jewish Forum, explained Ramadan fasting
  3. Heather Fletcher, Co-Chair of the Muslim Jewish Forum, discussed the 7 fasts in Judaism
  4. Grange Williams covered fasting in the Baha'i faith
  5. Sashi Pandey talked about fasting before weddings in the Hindu faith

Heather Fletcher stated in her speech "It is stated that the family that eats together stays together so tonight our "multifaith family" will eat together at the Multifaith Centre and hopefully stay together for a very long time to come."

The Lord Mayor of Manchester stressed the importance of Manchester being so welcoming to immigrants. He outlined how over the decades immigrants had enriched the city of Manchester in so many ways and covered his own family history, stating "My great grandfather was an economic migrant from Ireland and worked as a peddler here and just four generations later I am now standing here as Lord Mayor due to Manchester allowing immigrants to thrive".

Mohammed Amin, Muslim Jewish Forum Co-Chair said “A united community is achieved by many small steps. The Forum brings together people who might not otherwise meet to share food and to learn about each other.”

Afzal Khan CBE, Member of the European Parliament for North West England thanked all the speakers and guests and invited everyone to partake in the meal once the Ramadan fast was over. The guests were treated to an extensive Asian vegetarian buffet organised by Qaisra Shahraz and a kosher buffet prepared by Jonny Wineberg of the MJF and FNM4. The evening was marked by a great deal of social interaction as each table had a mixture of people from various religious backgrounds.

In the group photo below are, from left to right:

  1. Cllr Naeem Ul Hassan, former Lord Mayor of Manchester.
  2. Rt Revd David Walker, Bishop of Manchester.
  3. David Lewis, Treasurer of the Muslim Jewish Forum
  4. Mohammed Amin, Co-Chair of the Muslim Jewish Forum
  5. Afzal Khan CBE MEP
  6. Ahmad Nadim, Barrister
  7. Fr. Falak Sher, Priest In Charge, St Werburghs Rectory
  8. Khan Moghal, Chief Executive, Manchester Council for Community Relations
  9. Heather Fletcher, Co-Chair of the Muslim Jewish Forum
  10. Qaisra Shahraz, Vice Chair FN4M and member of the Muslim Jewish Forum Executive

 

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Established to develop the cultural and social ties between the Muslim and Jewish Communities of Greater Manchester

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