Tower of London hosts first Ramadan iftar in 900 year history
Muslims have for the first time in history broke their fast at the Tower of London on Monday evening in an interfaith event.
The Naz Legacy Foundation, a British Muslim organisation that supports ethnic minority youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, teamed up with the Tower of London to host the first iftar in the London landmark's 900-year-history.
Religious leaders from different backgrounds, including Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Cardinal Vincent Nichols attended the interfaith iftar.
They discussed issues relating to their own religious communities such as anti-Semitism and the historic execution of Catholics at the Tower Bridge.
"I was delighted to break my fast this evening at the first ever interfaith iftar at the Tower of London", said London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is of Pakistani Muslim heritage.
"It was inspiring to see young people from different faiths united in this incredible setting", he added.
A pleasure to join @MayorofLondon @SadiqKhan in making history - the first Muslim-based #InterfaithIftar at the @TowerOfLondon in its near millenial history.— Mudassar (@MudassarCh__) April 4, 2022
A big thanks to @NazLegacy for the invite - great to meet @chiefrabbi, @CardinalNichols, @bishopSarahM & Imam Mahmoud. pic.twitter.com/FXYj9Pt0EO
Naz Legacy Foundation's founder Harris Bokhari reflected upon the frightening history of the Tower of London and said the interfaith iftar is a reset of what the monument represents to London.
"The Tower of London, once feared by religious minorities as a place of imprisonment and torture, should host the first major in-person interfaith iftar since the pandemic.
"The iftar, the first held in the Tower’s more than 900-year history and during the Platinum Jubilee, will highlight some of the Queen’s greatest values of public service, faith in God and the protection of minority communities," he wrote.
He added that the iftar was a refreshing moment in the face of rising hate crimes against Muslims and people of other faiths.
Muslims who are able to fast during the Muslim month of Ramadan do so from sunrise to sunset.
This year, poverty has shadowed the community with 46 percent of the British Muslim population living in the 10 percent most deprived areas of the UK.
Requests for help from the National Zakat Foundation (NZF) have also skyrocketed by 70 percent over the last twelve months. NZF gives out emergency grants from Zakat charity collected from British Muslims to those in need.