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May 24, 2020

Rees-Mogg has ‘enormous’ admiration for Muslims observing Ramadan

World

May 24, 2020

LONDON: Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg has described his Ramadan experience and expressed his “enormous” admiration for Muslims observing Ramadan and praised ‘Muslims for Britain’ for their role in the Brexit referendum.

Muslims for Britain hosted ‘The Leader’s Iftar’ with the Rees-Mogg, Initiative for Free Trade President Daniel Hannan, and Saqib Bhatti MP on May 19. The Iftar was chaired by ITV International News Head Rageh Omaar, a press release said.

Asked about the similarity between Ramadan and Lent, the Leader of the House of Commons, Rees-Mogg said: “Ramadan is much harder I must confess my admiration for you all [Muslims] is enormous, because Catholic fasting is only required on two days on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.”

He recalled years ago that when he was in Egypt, it was during Ramadan, and the temperature was getting up into the “90s even up to 100 degrees” and his tour guide didn’t have a sip of water all day. He said: “I was so impressed by that level of faith and piety and so my admiration for Muslims observing Ramadan is genuine and enormous.”

Speaking movingly about his own faith and fasting, he said: “It is a constant reminder of God” and that “with fasting… you’re thinking about God, as you feel hungry, you think I’m going to remain hungry because of my love for God, because for all the great things he does for me the least payback I can give is… thinking about him during the course of the day and I think that’s the purpose of it”.

Discussing faith and politics, he said “the centre right is more tolerant of religious belief than most other parts of the political spectrum, we still value it, we still see its importance, many of us still hold deep religious faith and therefore we are on the side of people from religious communities”.

The leader praised, ‘Muslims for Britain’, and the role they played during the Brexit referendum, he said “pro-Europeans were very surprised by the success of Muslims for Britain and by voting patterns that were shown during the Brexit result. I think that lots of communities that the Remainers thought that would be automatically voting for them turned out not to be because they felt they had been ignored and Muslims for Britain was a very important part of that process and that political evolution”.

Saqib Bhatti MP for Meriden, sat on the official Vote Leave Board. He said during the referendum, Muslims for Britain played a crucial role. In his remarks, he spoke passionately that many Muslims believed in free trade and believed in the idea of making something of themselves.

He said: “As British Muslims we’re all a product of our journeys and the truth of the matter is that centre right ideas are actually very close to the journeys that many British Muslims have taken, whether they are first or second generation.”

Muslims for Britain Chairman Aftab Chughtai spoke passionately about the role Muslims played in the Brexit referendum. He said that it was our ‘lived experiences’, a desire for a ‘fairer’ society and ‘free trade deals’ that guided people to vote for Leave.

Muslims for Britain Chief Executive Atifa Shah discussed the challenges faced by minority communities and “how best to champion the principles of individual liberty, property rights, limited government, strong defence and free markets”, all “underpinned and secured by the rule of law” and how best to communicate these ideas in a way communities understand.