The huge Eid celebrations in Trafalgar Square in London this July were especially poignant for two reasons: firstly as a positive response to the mass anti-Muslim hysteria in the wake of the number of ISIS terrorist attacks in late 2015 and 2016 and perhaps more significantly still, the fact that these celebrations were led by Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a major European city.
Sadiq Khan was introduced on stage by presenter Konnie Huq, with whom he shared a selfie: "How’s this for a selfie! Londoners of all faiths and backgrounds celebrating Eid in Trafalgar Square."
Eid is the celebration of the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. This year, the celebration is London commemorated the achievements of Muslim women in particular. It was Mr Khan’s first ramadan as the Mayor of London; he acknowledged the importance of his role in challenging and breaking down the suspicion surrounding Islam.
"It has been a great opportunity to bring together London’s many communities – to me, that’s what Ramadan is all about. It is now more important than ever to unite as Londoners and extend our hands of friendship in light of the EU referendum, the recent surge in hate crime and the terrible atrocities in Istanbul."
Among the Eid festivities was the opportunity to see Peter Sanders’ Art of Integration exhibition which was the first time it has been shown in the UK. Sanders is a world-renowned photographer of the Muslim world, showcasing Islam in all its variations. The Art of Integration is a peaceful reminder of the contributions that Muslims in Britain have made over the last 100 years, adding to the rich multicultural fabric of this country.