London Mayor Sadiq Khan breaks his Ramadan fast at Aziziye Mosque in Stoke Newington
- Credit: James O Jenkins
Sadiq Khan praised the good will between Hackney’s religious communities at a meal to break his Ramadan fast at the Aziziye Mosque.
The Mayor of London joined imams of all faiths, rabbis, a vicar, Hackney mayor Phil Glanville, MP Meg Hillier and councillors from Hackney and Haringey for the Iftar meal at the mosque in Stoke Newington Road on Thursday.
Cllr Mete Coban organised the event in his ward to “recognise and celebrate the contribution of everyone who makes Stoke Newington and Hackney a better place to live”.
Rector of St Paul’s Church, Niall Weir, told the gathering his mind was immediately taken to the Hackney Winter Night Shelter when he tucked into his soup.
“We have men and women from all over the world who come for comfort and warmth and hospitality, and the first thing we press into their hand when they come in is a mug of soup which is supplied than no less a place than this mosque,” he said.
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“I’m so grateful. Without fail at six o’clock every Thursday, out comes the biggest terrine of soup you’ve ever seen in your life.”
Sadiq told the crowd he had been “really touched” to hear of the collaboration.
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“But then I was told the church have contributed towards the new carpets in the mosque as well, and I think what a wonderful, wonderful story - Muslims and Christians, shoulder to shoulder, brothers and sisters helping a community,” he said.
Sadiq told the Gazette beforehand how “tough” he is finding the fast, which begins at about 3am and ends at 10pm.
“The two things I miss the most are coffee and sleep,” he said. “You have to decide whether to stay up until 2am or 3am, or go to bed and wake up, but the good thing about the Muslim calendar is it’s a lunar calendar so in 10 years time it will be in winter.”
He continued: “Ramadan is about fasting, generosity, charity love and compassion, empathy and understanding what it’s like for people who are poor and hungry around the world.
“What you will see is hundreds of thousands of Londoners who are looking miserable because we are fasting, but we aren’t miserable usually. “The wonderful thing about London now is that nonMuslims know about fasting, so they will ask you how the fast is going, and that’s lovely.”