Ilford community centre’s fast-breaking dinner for all is ‘way forward’
PUBLISHED: 15:12 16 July 2015 | UPDATED: 15:38 16 July 2015
An education charity working hard to change the perception of Islam invited members from different faith communities to a fast-breaking dinner on Tuesday.
Redbridge Mayor Cllr Barbara White and Metropolitan Police’s commander for engagement Cdr Mak Chrishty were among those breaking bread at OTTO Restaurant, High Street, Wanstead, in the lead up to Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
The event, put together by the Dialogue Society and course provider the Amity Community Centre, Clarks Road, Ilford, started with the call to prayer at sunset before guests ate dates and a three course meal donated by the restaurant.
Amity’s community education foundation manager Kadir Kilic said: “We ran the event because we want to be known by the different communities in Redbridge but also because Muslims have a bad reputation – because of ISIS or any other terrorist organisations.
“We wanted to show other communities that there are good Muslims that represent peace – that’s the main idea behind it.”
The charity, which provides everything from guitar lessons to English and maths tuition to those from the Turkish community, is hoping the event will help non-Mulisms take learn something positive about Islam.
“Why can’t people learn from it and take part in some way? It’s our job to show people what Islam is all about,” said Kadir.
“We’re fasting to try to understand what it’s like not to have food – to understand hunger.”
The mayor said the event was “the way forward” in her speech after dinner.
She said: “I appreciate what a special time of the year it is – it’s great to be given the opportunity to understand different cultures and different beliefs.
“Something like this, I believe, is the way forward to peace and harmony – when you understand each other, we remove fears and doubts.”
Cdr Chrishty said in his speech: “I think this is a fantastic gathering – it makes my heart feel warm and it’s a really good experience.”
The night’s menu included soup for starters, roast lamb, mash and vegetables for mains and gulac – a traditional Turkish desert.
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