One of the biggest Muslim gatherings of 2013 will be taking place tomorrow in Bradford.
Bradford is holding one of the biggest Eid celebration events in the UK this year. Anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 people are expected to attend “Eid in the Park- Bradford” held this year at City Park, which includes both the square in front of the town hall as well as Centenary Park.
The organisers have previously held Eid celebrations in other parks around Bradford attracting over 1500 people over two days. However this year they have decided to increase their celebrations with an open invitation to the wider non-Muslims to partake and experience what Eid means to Muslims as well as to understand wider aspects of Islam.
Co-organiser, Ebrahim Dar said to 5Pillarz: “This year we felt it was important to hold a big celebration as a way to firstly provide an open halal (islamically permissible) way to celebrate Eid, but also a way to help dispel myths surrounding Islam and Muslims that may exist with wider society.”
Know Muhammad campaign
In addition, “Eid in the Park-Bradford” have invited “Exhibition Muhammad (saw)” from the Know Muhammad campaign to hold exhibitions and an interactive display for Muslims and non-Muslims to understand the message of Islam.
Sharif Abu Laith from the “Know Muhammad” campaign explains the need for such events. He said: “As we know after the Woolwich incident, and the subsequent blame the British government placed against the entire Muslim community as well as Islam, many non Muslims have a negative perception of Islam and Muslims. Together with the fact that generally Islam and Muslim portrayal in the media has been overwhelmingly negative it’s important that as a Muslim community we reach out to explain Islam correctly counteracting the myths and stereotypes.”
Mr Abu Laith further explained that the Muslim community must not remain silent against the demonisation of Islam in large part perpetrated by mainstream politicians and media. He said: “As Muslims we believe dawah or an invitation to know Islam is a duty for our community. Therefore we cannot retreat or remain passive when aspects of our religion are constantly criticised in the media or by politicians, this will only create an environment of fear and antagonism against the Muslim community.”
The exhibition will cover topics related to belief, morality, women, economics and politics amongst other areas. Mr Abu Laith added: “Many non Muslims have questions not only related to belief but also treatment of women as well as why there’s so much instability in the Muslim world. We must be open to these questions and provide strong Islamic responses showing the comprehensive nature of Islam, in fact even many Muslims have these questions too.”
In addition to the exhibition, free copies of the Quran as well as Islamic packs will be given out.
Ibrahim Dar said: “This is a unique event for the whole family, for the whole community, it will be a fun packed event in addition to the opportunity to explain Islam. We have nasheed artists, poets, Islamic speakers, food stalls, face painting and a host of other fun activity”
The event will take place in Bradford city centre, City Park on Saturday 31st August from 10am to 6pm.