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Muharram 2018: ‘We have duty to campaign for a better world for all minorities’, says Wanstead faith leader

PUBLISHED: 14:06 20 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:06 20 September 2018

Harun Khan, trustee at Redbridge Islamic Centre and Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain

Harun Khan, trustee at Redbridge Islamic Centre and Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain

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As Muslims across the globe observe the holy month of Muharram, a Wanstead faith leader has called on the country to campaign against the persecution of minorities.

The first month of the Islamic calendar began on Tuesday, September 11 and ends on October 9.

It is one of four sacred months mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, during which the Prophet Muhammad made the journey from Makkah to Madina, known as the Hijra.

The first day of Muharram marked the beginning of the Islamic New Year 1440 AH.

While the 10th day – known as Ashura – will be observed by many Muslims with fasting as they reflect on the salvation of the children of Israel from the tyrannical Egyptian Pharoah under the prophet Moses.

Muslims are also reminded of the martydom of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Husain ibn Ali while fighting a despotic regime in the battle of Karbala, in what is now modern day Iraq, in the year 61 AH.

The fast exemplifies gratitude to God, with many Muslims also fasting the day preceding it or after too.

Congregations of mourners gather to express grief and many Shia Muslims practise chest beating and sometimes self-flagellation and the cutting of their foreheads.

Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “These events in history offer us a moment of reflection, and teach us the values of selflessness and perseverance.

“Sadly, in this current year of 2018, we still witness oppression and the tyrannical repression of minority Muslim communities in parts of the world, such as the Uighur Muslims in China and the Rohingya in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, where the plight of minorities still continue.

“We all have an equal duty to raise awareness, and campaign for a better world for all.”

Mr Khan also commented on the 17th anniversary of the September 11 attacks where more than 2,000 people died.

He added: “We remember them, and the families of the victims also mourning the death of their loved ones, who died so tragically in an act that is undoubtedly criminal and ruthless.”

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