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Mayor visits Muslim Centre for Ramadan meal

MUSLIMS breaking their fast last night (Thursday) greeted the mayor of Hillingdon at Hayes Muslim Centre.

Councillor Michael Markham and his wife, Mrs Rosemary Markham, were guests of the the Islamic Education and Cultural Society (IECS) for the nightly iftar meal, eaten after sunset.

Muslims fast during daylight hours in the month of Ramadan, which concludes with the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast. Eid falls on Monday, August 20.

The mayor was joined by Hayes and Harlington Labour MP John MCDonnell, Botwell ward councillors Janet Gardner, Phoday Jarjussey and Mo Khursheed, and the chairman of the Hayes Town Partnership, David Brough.

They mingled with about 100 worshippers and enjoyed a meal of home cooked curries, samosas, chicken, salads and desserts.

Welcoming the mayor and mayoress, Obaid Siddiqui of the IECS said: "This kind of community spirit is what Islam is about."

He spoke of the battle to establish the Pump Lane centre, after a series of temporary, unsuitable buildings had been used for worship and community activities, and how Mr McDonnell and Mr Brough had played their part in getting Hillingdon Council to release the building, which is now used for meetings with local police - who were represented at the meal by members of the Safer Neighbourhoods Team - health check sessions run by the primary care trust, Mr McDonnell's surgeries and other advice and information services.

"Behind the scenes, (David Brough's) contribution has been enormous, so it is as much his building as ours", said Mr Siddiqui.

The mayor said: "It has been a great pleasure to share this evening with you. It is all about breaking down barriers.

"Hillingdon is a safe place, a peaceful place, and we want it to stay that way, and your actions serve as an example to us all."


 

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