For the first time ever in history, Leader of the House of Commons Rt. Hon Jacob Reese Mogg MP held an Iftar on the 27th night of Ramadan, ‘the Leaders Iftar’ hosted by Muslims of Britain, was also attended by Mr Daniel Hannan, President of the Initiative for Free Trade and former MEP, Mr Saqib Bhatti MP and many other key players within the political arena.
A memorable moment and significant turning point that highlights the increasing importance of Muslims in the UK, one of the most powerful men within the Government held an iftar. The United Kingdom has nearly 4 million Muslims as per the Annual Population Survey March 2018. Islam is the second-largest monotheistic religion after Christianity, within the U.K. Muslims have become an increasingly important potential vote bank for the Conservative party.
Zoom utilised for UK’s virtual iftar
It was an invitation-only iftar which took place via Zoom, and was chaired by Rageh Omaar, who is one of the most senior Muslim presenters at ITV News. Others present included politicians, entrepreneurs, businessmen, social activists, and philanthropists.
The UK virtual iftar was held to celebrate the month of Ramadan and acknowledge the purpose and value of fasting and how it was still of significant value within the 21st century. The history and role of Muslims, and the future business and political relationships within the U.K, came under discussion.
MP Jacob Rees Mogg: all praise for Muslims
Rt. Hon. Jacob Rees Mogg, a devout Catholic, stated there are similarities between Ramadan and Lent, he fasts during Lent on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and was able to understand the difficulties UK Muslims undergo by fasting over 18 hours a day. He has worked with many Muslim countries and complimented the steadfastness and dedication Muslims showed to their religion.
He recalled whilst he was travelling in Egypt, during Ramadan when the heat was up to 100 Fahrenheit and the tour guide didn’t drink or eat all day. “ I was so impressed by that level of faith and piety and so my admiration for Muslims observing Ramadan is genuine and enormous”, he said.
In July 2019, Jacob Rees Mogg was appointed Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council. The Leader of the House is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Commons. The Lord President is responsible for presiding over meetings of the Privy Council, presenting business for the monarch’s approval.
Chief Executive of Muslims for Britain, Ms Atifa Shah discussed the challenges faced by minority communities and how best to champion the principles of individual liberty, property rights, limited government, strong defence and free markets. Most importantly, how to communicate these ideas to communities so that they understand.
Former MEP Daniel Hannan, writer, journalist, President of the Initiative for Free Trade and a long time supporter of Muslims for Britain, is commonly referred to by friends, as the Sheikh, due to his in-depth knowledge about Islam, the Prophet and his Sahabis.
Daniel Hannan is a key supporter of free trade and has regularly encouraged countries to follow this ideology. He related the significance of free trade to how Muslims traded thousands of years ago. He mentioned how the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) era, was the first to encourage business, entrepreneurship and trade and held in high esteem within the Arab peninsula.
Looking at a Post Brexit Britain he said “Britain had never only been a European country and particularly we were linked by migration, by history, by language, by law, to every continent, to English speaking Commonwealth countries all over the world many of them Muslim majorityStates. He said “When we relive the centenary of the First World War, the British Army in 1918 looked a lot more like Britain in 2018 than Britain in 1918.
He was grateful for the role Muslims of Britain were playing at the grassroots. He was also impressed with the Iftar hampers which were presented to all members of the panel, recalling the significance of each item and their links to the U.K.
Muslims for Britain provided an Iftar Hamper for all its guests, which included items from countries that have a strong relationship and bond with Britain through our nation’s history. Items included Moroccan Tea, Turkish Coffee, Turkish Figs, Saudi Arabian Ajwa Dates, Iranian Pistachios and Pakistani Goats Milk Barfi.
President of Muslim for Britain, Mr. Iftikhar Awan, discussed Britain’s first Brexit in February 1570, when Queen Elizabeth I, reached out to the 16th-century global superpower: Islam, and in particular the Ottoman Empire and established a great relationship with Suleman the Magnificent..
“In an Early Caliphate Islam created a global trading empire, based on a gold standard and free exchange similar to what we would know call a joint stock venture with limited liability in the camel trading’s”, he said.
UK virtual Iftar: stories shared, achievements highlighted
Thousands of people have subscribed to be a part of the hugely anticipated and successful virtual iftar. The participants were able to forward many touching stories and the difficulties which people undergo whilst fasting, the spirit of civic duty and charity to society during this pandemic.
During the last two months, during the Corona lockdown, Muslims for Britain grassroots campaign, has donated over 25,000 hot meals to the NHS key front line workers, homeless, the elderly and the vulnerable. Over 6,000 masks have been produced and distributed throughout the U.K. 10,000 grocery packs have been distributed to the elderly and the vulnerable.
Zak Khan is a legal expert within the U.K. He practices in the United Kingdom as a Solicitor and an active member of Muslims for Britain. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.