Spring is an important and joyful time – we see new blossoms, flowers and leaves, as well as birds and animals reappearing after the long winter. This year, April has also been an important month for people who share some of the many faiths that make up our local community.
As a Muslim, the month of Ramadan is importantly spiritually, bringing us closer to Allah. An outward reflection of this for many Muslims, including me, is fasting. But generosity, family and community are an integral part of this time. Over the past two years, we have been unable to share this month with family and friends as we often would. That is why it has been so wonderful to join so many constituents for iftar, including at mosques throughout Manchester. I was particularly proud to welcome Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, to our constituency for his first iftar as Labour leader. Keir spoke of the incredible response of British Muslims during the pandemic, supporting our local communities through mutual aid and food delivery.
For the first time in over thirty years, Ramadan, Easter and Passover coincided. This provided an important opportunity to reflect on our shared beliefs and ideals, and it was an honour to join interfaith events with the Lord Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker. It was also an honour to be invited to join Manchester’s Sikh community for their Vaisakhi celebrations at the Sri Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara in Whalley Range and the Nepalese community for their New Year Celebrations in Fallowfield.
Whatever your faith, or no faith, I hope you have enjoyed spending quality time with your family and friends this month.