The prime minister David Cameron has called on the Muslim community to renew its resolve to support the people of Syria during the holy month of Ramadan.
Foreign secretary Phillip Hammond added that he welcomed calls for a nationwide truce in Syria during the four- week period.
Ramadan started on Monday (6) and this year, followers are facing the longest four weeks in 33 years due to the summer solstice falling on June 20.
David Cameron: “It’s the holy month of Ramadan, a time when mosques open their doors, community centres welcome in their neighbours, and even churches and synagogues offer up their spaces as Mus- lims break their fasts – and peo- ple of all faiths and none are often asked to join.
“Coventry Cathedral is holding its own multifaith iftar. In Manchester, they’re combining an iftar with England’s Europe- an Championships appearance. And homeless shelters up and down the country are holding ‘Iftars with the Homeless’.
“Uppermost in all our minds this Ramadan are those whose lives have been torn apart by the twin evils of Assad and Dash, all those families spending this holy month in refugee camps mourning loved ones; yearning to go back to school or work; wondering when they will return home again.
“Our thoughts – whatever our backgrounds or beliefs – are with them. And we must continue to support the people of Syria and the region, as we work towards a lasting political solution. Be- cause that’s who we are as a country. We won’t walk on by.
“So this Ramadan, let’s renew our resolve to help those vic- tims. Let’s continue to come together for iftars and community events. Let’s celebrate the proud, multi-racial, multi-faith
democracy we live in. To every- one in Britain and around the world, Ramadan Mubarak.”
Greg Clark, communities secretary: “As Muslim communities across the UK come together, it is a time for us all to reflect on the importance of compassion and how we can better help one another.
“Mosques around the country are once again opening their doors to the whole community, to show non-Muslims what Ramadan is all about it, bringing people of all faiths and none together as part of the Big Iftar.
“And it’s not just mosques: volunteers from churches, syn- agogues, community centres and schools will be welcoming local residents to join the fast-break-ing meal and encouraging people to build new friendships.
“I wish you well over the forthcoming month and a very peaceful Ramadan.”
Andy Burnham, shadow home secretary: “I would like to wish the Muslim community a blessed Ramadan.
“This is a very auspicious month during which Muslims from around the world fast to seek forgiveness, improve their spirituality and put themself in the position of those less fortu- nate. I hope you find answers to all of your prayers during this special month.”
Philip Hammond: “I wish all Muslims in the UK and around the world Ramadan Mubarak.
“Ramadan is a time for contemplation, reflection and acts of kindness and charity. Most Muslims will spend this Ram- adan with their families, but poverty and conflict are keep- ing people apart. This includes the millions of Syrians who have been displaced and those in refugee camps.
“The UK is acting tirelessly for a resolution to the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. We will continue to work for a peaceful, secure world and support all those who need our help. I wel- come calls for a nationwide truce in Syria during Ramadan and encourage all those with influence to take this opportu- nity to end the bloodshed.”
Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats: “I join the many Muslims in the UK and across the world in welcoming the holy month of Ramadan.
“We in the UK are privileged to have the benefit of many religions and many cultures, that have weaved over several decades a rich tapestry of friendship and togetherness.
“I know that for all of these communities, and especially for Muslims during Ramadan, the refugee crisis is at the fore- front of our thoughts, with Ramadan reminding us all to re- member the daily struggles of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.
“As we make collective efforts to bring to an end the refugee crisis, let us hope that when the moon appears for Eid-ul-Fitr in a month’s time, common humanity will compel the nations’ leaders to do more.
“May the special message and the celebration of these holy days uplift each of you and add to the vitality of our com- munity. Ramadan Kareem.”