In the summer of 2012, the city of London was overjoyed to be welcoming the eyes of the world as athletes from all over descended on the capital to take part in the Summer Olympic Games. As it happened, the holy month of Ramadan coincided with the Olympic Games which provided the Muslim community a fantastic opportunity to show their international guests the welcoming nature of their institutions through the breaking of the fast meal.
Through his history of success with Mosques, Madrassahs and Islamic Centres, Faith Associates’ CEO, Shaukat Warraich led the initiative that saw him work in partnership with the British Muslim community, the UK government, the Metropolitan Police and the International Olympic committee to facilitate Mosque Iftars. The Iftars were attended by a diverse range of people that included Muslims, Non-Muslims, athletes, community activists and dignitaries of local and national bodies.
The Iftar2012 project laid out its plan in 6 key points:
- To feed people in six major UK cities: London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle.
- To be present where the Olympic events and teams will be hosted and at the biggest mosques in the UK;
- To be where the national football teams and matches will be hosted in Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle.
- To join up with Olympic authorities and the police to host Olympic personalities and manage team visits to Mosques for community and media engagements.
- Distribute food and manage local relationships through our local teams.
- Welcome Muslims and non-Muslims, people of all colours and races, people of faith and no faith to Mosques and support Mosque Open days during Ramadan 2012.
Some of the key Mosques that catered for Iftars, facilitated by Faith Associates, included the Islamic Cultural Centre and East London Mosque; 2 of the biggest mosques in Europe.
The initiative was met with a lot of praise and positive media coverage. Security and Immigration Minister at the time, James Brokenshire, was quoted as saying, “I think Iftar 2012 is a fantastic initiative to bring communities in the UK together and to really celebrate Islam. The Olympics and Ramadan are taking place at the same time over the course of the summer and we want this to be an inclusive Olympic and Iftar 2012 will help achieve that as well as celebrating the culture that we have in this country — reflecting the country we are and we want to be”.
Following on from the successes of Iftar2012, Faith Associates has continued the tradition of facilitating Mosque Iftars during Ramadan every year since, with the launch of Iftar 2013, Iftar 2014 and MosqueIftar.com in 2015.
The team at Faith Associates continues to work with 100s of Mosques around the country to facilitate community engagement and showcase excellence in Muslim institutions.
Visit the MosqueIftar website to see the progression of Faith Associates work with Mosques in Ramadan.