LONDON: Around 25,000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square to celebrate the festival of Eid as London Mayor Sadiq Khan sent a special gift to former US President Donald Trump: a selfie with diverse communities who gathered to mark the Eid festival.
The London mayor said Muslims and non-Muslims had come together in huge numbers to celebrate Eid and enjoy the beauty of London. But, he warned there are some hateful people who want to pitch communities against each other in the name of religion and cultural wars.
Towards the end of his speech to the crowd, Sadiq Khan requested everyone to join him in taking a selfie with him from the centre stage and said he will send this selfie to Donald Trump to show how diversity and multiculturalism work.
Khan and Trump were engaged in a war of words after Trump attacked Sadiq Khan on a number of occasions and Sadiq Khan has not spared him either.
Sadiq Khan said about Donald Trump: “I know somebody who knows me well. This person is obsessed with me for a number of years. I want to send him a gift this year, which is a photograph. This person believes it’s not possible to be a proud Muslim and a proud Westerner. This person believes it’s not possible to be a proud British person and a proud Muslim. This person wanted to ban all Muslims from America. As he begins his comeback tour, I want to send him a gift, a selfie.”
Sadiq Khan said Trafalgar Square was “the most famous square in the world” and “the greatest city in the world”, and Eid in the Square showed the diversity of Islam and London to the world.
He said: “We have a prime minister in this country who is Hindu, we have a King who is a Christian, we have a London Mayor who is a Muslim, showing our diversity and the good news is Bollywood has announced they are remaking Amer Akbar and Anthony”.
He said Ramazan provides Muslims an opportunity to “show the very best of the religion of Islam. In this month, we show the very best of the teachings of our religion. The Holy Quran says Allah has created different tribes and nations so you know one another. We have Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Jewish people here celebrating Eid on the Square.”
Festivities got underway around noon with a reading from the Holy Quran with musicians, comedians and speakers taking to the stage erected at the foot of Nelson’s Column.
The Eid in Trafalgar Square event comes a week after the date of Eid. The day’s entertainment involved music, poetry and comedy performances as well as an eclectic variety of food vehicles serving up fragrant dishes from Pakistan, India, Somalia, Uzbekistan and more. Artists from several Islamic countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan, performed on the stage and showcased the local traditional dance and cultural diversity.
This year’s theme supported Mayor Sadiq Khan’s “Love For Everyone” campaign, which focuses on family and bringing communities together for the celebration.
Sadiq Khan urged the government to “continue to help” British citizens trapped in Sudan, despite the final evacuation flight scheduled to take off at 6 pm today UK time.
The theme this year celebrated family, education and innovation, and Londoners and visitors can immerse themselves in the best of Islamic inspired art, history and culture with contemporary and traditional performances on the main stage.
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