Sunday – 19 May 2019 – saw over 800 people from the Muslim and wider communities of Milton Keynes gather at the Campbell Park Cricket Pavilion to break their fast and share an Iftaar. Iftaar is the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during the fasting month of Ramadan.
The Great Get Together Iftaar was organized by Trubys Garden Tea Room – an interfaith pop up café run by Muslim Women living in Milton Keynes which promotes positive dialogue between Muslims and the wider community. Attending the event and enjoying the multi faith enlightenment were the Mayor of Milton Keynes – Councillor Sam Crooks; Julia Upton – High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire; Iain Stewart – MP for Milton Keynes South and Imam Shoaib – Jamia Central Mosque Wolverton.
“We were delighted to host the Great Get Together Iftaar here in Campbell Park. It is great to see our parks being well used by the whole community and I’m proud of the way The Parks Trust is playing its part in helping to create a more inclusive society” – David Foster, Chief Executive, The Parks Trust.
Natalie Jordan MK Community Foundation Philanthropy Manager said: “MK Community Foundation fully support events like The Great Get Together Iftaar. We recognise the importance of bringing communities together, supporting interfaith dialogue and learning about each other’s cultures”.
“The great turnout at this year’s Great Get Together Iftaar shows the power of community leaders to bring diverse people together in common interest, to celebrate their differences as well as sameness, shows MK’s essential wholeness. Ramadan Mubarak!” – Tom Bulman, Community Organiser, Citizens MK.
The Great Get Together Iftaar MK event started in 2017 as part of the nation-wide Great Get Together organised in honour of Jo Cox, the murdered MP, recognizing that ‘We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us’. The Iftaar is an Islamic tradition of breaking the fast at the end of the day during Ramadan. It was selected as the basis of our contribution because sharing food is a great way to bring communities together.
The aim is for more communities around Milton Keynes to be able to experience and observe the spirit of Ramadan alongside Muslims who can offer dialogue and illustrations of worship to better enhance understanding. The programme features acts and speakers who focus on the richness and similarities of religions, especially from a humanitarian perspective. The aim is to create a sense of belonging, remove feelings of doubt, alienation and isolation. Such opportunities provide an important tool for reducing resentment, which causes individuals to be open to enticement to commit acts of terror.
– Kurshida Mirza