OVER 300 NON MUSLIMS COMPLETE RAMADAN FASTS TO CELEBRATE UNITY
One Voice invited non-Muslims to fast for a day in a community cohesion initiative. Over 300 people took part this year.
‘I’m not a Muslim but I will fast for one day’ started in 2014, with members of the public, officials from major local organisations from the public and private sector taking part.
The campaign was supported by Building a Stronger Britain Together.
Ramadan is the holy Islamic month where Muslims forgo food and water between sunrise and sunset. A third of the population of Blackburn and Darwen is made up of the Muslim community. This year Ramadan in the UK consisted of an 18 and a half hour fast approximately.
Among the organisations that took part this year included Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Change Grow Live, ReAlign Futures, Secret Santa, YMCA, Lancashire Constabulary and Care Network.
Also participating in the project were Together Housing, Blackburn Community Fire Station, East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, Pleckgate High School, Blackburn Youth Zone, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Station and Child Action North West.
Professor Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health for Blackburn with Darwen took part in the Ramadan initiative for the third year. Dominic said,
“For me it is an act of solidarity that is becoming so much more important now. If we want to make the world a better place I think we all just need to search for the humanity in each other and the common values we all share. Fasting with my Muslim friends, even for just one day a year, is a small way to say that I am walking with you, we are on the same journey!”
Jenny Savage, Head of Religious Education at Pleckgate Academy said,
“We took part to show support to our Muslim pupils and staff at Pleckgate who fast every year during Ramadan. This year in particular, our Year 11 Muslim pupils are fasting whilst doing their GCSE exams and they rarely complain or use it as an excuse not to work, so we wanted to try and fast to see how they feel.”
Geoff Wilkinson from Community CVS fasting for the third year for this initiative said,
“I’m fasting again in support of my Muslim friends and colleagues. It’s a reminder that we should take nothing for granted and help others less fortunate than ourselves.”
Last year One Voice Blackburn received a Queens Award for Voluntary Service. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.
Abrar Hussain, Chairman of One Voice spoke about the community cohesion project.
“Ramadan is the time of year when the Muslim community take time to reflect on their lives and their spirituality. This project started with a few people fasting as non-Muslims. This year we saw a phenomenal number of people taking part. This is a testament to the resounding unity in Blackburn and Darwen.”