LORD MAYOR, LOCAL MEP AND CHESTER RESIDENTS JOIN LOCAL BUSINESSMAN TO MARK LONDON AND MANCHESTER ATTACKS AT RAMADAN IFTAR EVENT
In the wake of the recent atrocities in Manchester and London, Chester residents representative of several different religions came together on Sunday night to mark the solidarity with those affected by these attacks and indeed others worldwide.
Muslims in Chester and across the world are currently fasting during the Holy month of Ramadan. It is a tradition to break the day's fast at dusk with an Iftar meal, bringing together relatives and friends. Mr Abdun Noor of the Chester Tandoori had invited a group of around 50 residents and friends to join him for Iftar before the London tragedy took place so the evening took on new meaning.
"Ramadan is a time when Muslims think about those less fortunate than themselves" explained Mr Noor, "Attending were Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Baha'i. So it was an ideal opportunity to come together and remember all people everywhere who lives have been changed or who have lost their lives in an act of terrorism".
Chief guests at the event were Lord Mayor of Chester, Councillor Razia Daniels and North West Member of the European Parliament, Sajjad Karim.
As the One Love Manchester concert was taking part, those at Chester Tandoori opened the evening with a minute silence in memory of lives lost. The new Lord Mayor then spoke of her great honour at her appointment and pride at being the City's first ethnic Mayor. Arriving in the U.K. from Tanzania age 17, Razia paid tribute to the contribution immigrants make to our economy and communities.
Other speakers included Imam Hassan Chaudhary from the Chester Mosque and Dr Nikhil Kowshil.
Sajjad Karim MEP who had himself faced gunmen when caught up in the Mumbai attack in 2008 and been targeted by right wing extremists, spoke of the unity created by the attacks.
“These extremists are all the same. They need one another. They provide oxygen for one another. Today both sides of these extremes are doing all within their power to try to divide us here in the UK. We will not allow that to happen.
“Much has been said about the terrible events that have taken place firstly in London, then Manchester, then London again. In response I would simply say this: Whether it's London or Lahore, Manchester or Mumbai or Madrid. Whether it's Brussels or Bali, we stand as one.
“They attack as one with one purpose in mind and that is to mame and kill innocent human beings. It is therefore imperative that the rest of humanity face them as one. They represent nothing other than evil and must be defeated. Our resolve is strengthened each and every time they try to destroy us.”
A collection for the victims was also held.