Ramadan Mubarak to you all. This Holy Month of Ramadan is one of the most special times of the year, where billions of people around the world observe four weeks of fasting, reflection and spiritual development. It is a wonderful time for family and friends, as Muslim communities across the UK host events, care for one another and eat together after sundown.
This year, Ramadan marks both a celebratory and a solemn time. As we take time to stop and think, to consider those around us, we can also reflect on the atrocities that have taken place in the UK and around the world. Ramadan offers us a unique opportunity to remember those who died, were injured or affected.
Recently, we observed the UN’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, which highlights the need for unity. The UN states that three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension and therefore, bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development. It can also prevent young people becoming radicalised and help us avoid terror attacks.
Ramadan is a perfect opportunity for us to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better together. There are ways in which we can ensure that we bridge this gap, such as reaching out to everyone in our communities, inviting people to visit your mosque or to join us for Iftar. It has never been more important for people of all backgrounds to come together and get to know each other better. This can have a huge impact in helping to underpin interfaith unity and understanding. There are many events to attend and invite our neighbours to, including this Leicester Iftar Dinner and the Open Iftar in Leicester market.
During Ramadan, we can also donate time or money through reputable bodies or organisations such as the National Zakat Foundation and many other charities that are doing sterling work.
Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. Cultural diversity is an asset to our society and the Leicester community.
A blessed Ramadan to you and your family.