Muslim Council of Britain delivers inaugural Eid with refugees campaign
Following Eid al-Adha celebrations from the 1st to the 3rd of July, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) delivered its inaugural Eid with refugees campaign.
Eid with Refugees events also followed Refugee Week 2023 (19th-25th June), which was rooted in the theme of compassion. Putting compassion into action, mosques and community centres across the UK have hosted Eid events for refugees and asylum-seeking peoples within their local communities, over the past week.
These unique celebrations aimed to provide a warm and welcoming environment for guests to join in community-based festivities and experience the joyous celebrations associated with Eid.
Participant highlights included: the Khizra Mosque in north Manchester, who hosted an Eid party and were joined by MCB Secretary-General Zara Mohammed; the Nottingham Council of Mosques, who sponsored the food and henna application for guests at local events, working with a cross-section of partners such as iCare, Care 4 Calais and the East Midlands Malayali Muslim Association; Madinah Masjid Luton who served 20 guests with a delicious Eid meal and delivered 180 meals to a local hotel, where the food was greatly appreciated by guests who were unable to travel; Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre, who were joined by Shadow Secretary of State for Mental Health Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and Finsbury Park Mosque, who hosted over 100 guests and were joined by the Islington Mayor.
The MCB’s Eid with Refugees initiative also coincided with the Court of Appeal deeming the UK government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda unlawful and Peers voting to adopt an amendment to the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill that would ensure it complies with international law.
As such, in coming together through this initiative, the MCB aims to strengthen the ties that bind; promote compassion over cruelty, hospitality over hostility and create an environment of welcome and acceptance for all.
During the celebrations held across the UK, Secretary General Zara Mohammed expressed her thoughts on Eid Al-Adha and celebrating Eid with refugees: "Eid Al Adha is a sacred festival that commemorates the Hajj pilgrimage and the story of Prophet Ibrahim (AS).
“As we witness the gathering of diverse Muslim communities from around the world, it is important for us to extend a warm welcome to newer members of our communities. It is fitting that we come together to celebrate this holy occasion, especially as many refugees are Muslim and have fled conflict in countries such as Afghanistan and Syria."
She added: “We must challenge the divisive political rhetoric surrounding refugee communities and remember that no human being is illegal. This festival serves as a reminder to us all to continue advocating for the rights and inclusion of marginalised refugee communities.
“I express my gratitude to all those who participated in the campaign and to everyone who attended the celebrations. It was truly heartwarming to witness communities breaking bread and uniting in solidarity. I hope that such initiatives will serve as inspiration for positive action and foster meaningful dialogue."