Birmingham church hosts men-only ‘community’ iftar

Jun 13, 2018 by

Archbishop Cranmer comments; Ashenden responds.

Cranmer: […] St Edburgha’s Church Hall in Yardley, Birmingham, hosted a ‘Taste Ramadan’ evening on 2nd June. It was billed as a “community iftar meal” to “share food and share friendship”, and was open to members of the public. We read:

The free event has been organised by Qamar Abbas, president of UK Islamic Mission Solihull, and his team. “This is the first community iftar we have held in a church rather than a mosque and the first one we have opened up to the public. We hope to see people there from all walks of life.”

Marvellous exercise in community cohesion. But then we get:

He added: “This is a male-only event and the church has a capacity of 100 people.”

And here you have to wonder why St Edburgha’s Church was content to accept the booking.

Read here

Kevin Kallsen and Bishop Gavin Ashenden discuss this, and the wider implications of Iftar celebrations in churches, and how it is interpreted by Islam.

See also: Should Christians share in Muslim Iftar meals? by Ian Paul, Psephizo

and more from Gavin Ashenden: Celebrating Ramadan in Southwark Cathedral: mission, meals and infidelity

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