Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tower Hamlets Labour Councillors Iftar with the Community.

I had been invited on Tuesday evening by Labour Group leader (and long standing Unison member) Cllr Sirajul Islam to their Iftar at the
Waterlily function rooms at Mile End.

Ifter is the evening meal that Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan. I have worked in Tower Hamlets for 20 years but this was the first formal Ifter I have ever attended.

It was a marvelous event with hundreds of guests and overflowing tables. I was somewhat surprised to see my old comrade, the Branch secretary of Unison Tower Hamlets Local Government branch present at this Labour Party event.  I wondered after all the trails and tribulations of his current Party if he is considering coming home to Labour?

Even more surprising was to see controversial Tower Hamlets blogger, a Sunday Express Editor and fellow North Wales Gog, Ted Jeory, with his lovely wife Alberta, who was brought up locally in Whitechapel. I just had to sit next to him and ask if he had felt any sharp pains in his back since he had been in the hall?

There were a number of speeches including by local Poplar & Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick, who gave a rousing endorsement of Labour Tower Hamlets Mayor candidate, John Biggs, partly in Sylheti (apparently with a slight Scottish accent). While Bethnal Green and Bow MP, Rushanara Ali, claimed that Jim's Sylheti was better than hers! She introduced the star attraction, East London Labour Assembly Member and Mayor Candidate, John Biggs.

Also multi-faith contributions and prayers from Christian and Muslim preachers. Cllr Abdal Ullah was the main compere who kept things running smoothly and to time.

I think that you must have tremendous respect for British Muslims, for fasting from drawn to dusk in high summer. It cannot be easy at any time of the year but non Muslims I come across simply cannot believe that they are not able to drink water as well as eat no food during the current super hot and humid conditions. Many also pray early and late into the night which means they have to endure a lack of sleep as well.

Iftar is obviously a religious event but I most impressed with the courtesy and respect shown to guests such as myself. The fast finished that night at 9.10pm. I am not at all sure that I will have been so polite and well mannered if I had no food or drink for the previous 18 hours.

Hat tip pictures in collage to Sami Photography.

Update: Check out Hope Not Hate "The Big Iftar"  and "Dine at Mine" if you have never been to a Iftar.


Anonymous said...

Any chance of having one organised by Newham Labour? I see you guys haven't even sent a message to your 100k Muslim community, yet managed to publish a whole page in the July Newham mag telling them how you were gonna shut down their West Ham mosque. Season's greetings hey!

John Gray said...

Hi Anonymous

Actually that is a good idea and one I discussed with a fellow Newham Labour guest that night.

While I think you are using this positive community occasion to try and score cheap points, I am not sure, since you are too cowardly to give your name or say who you represent.

So seasonal Greetings indeed comrade Spart.

DelMonty said...

I see John that the Newham trots and tories are busy showing why they are the most useless and pathetic opposition in the country (why else is it 63 nil in Newham?)

You are right that they have no politics and are just personality obsessives who burn over perceived slights and insults. Sado's.

Anonymous said...

My Ramadan sympathies are with the Muslims of Stornoway, where there is precious little darkness at this time of year.

John Gray said...

or Iceland?