Since its foundation in 1978, the Shia Muslim community of Greece has been arranging Fast breaking ceremonies (Iftar) throughout the holy month of Ramadan. This year, on Saturday the 2nd of July 2016, an inter-faith Iftar dinner was hosted at a well-known Athenian restaurant, in order to promote interfaith harmony. Adepts of all religions were invited to the event. Not only Muslims, but also Christians, Hindus and Buddhists attended the Iftar dinner.
Moreover, the Minister of Education, Research and Religious affairs, Mr. Nikos Filis, also took part along with a large number of officials from the several divisions of the Greek Government. Furthermore, members of various parliamentary parties, as well as diplomats, journalists, members of NGOs and representatives of different Muslim communities, have attended the gathering.
At this occasion, Mr. Ashir Haider, representative and founding member of the Shia Muslim Community of Greece told the participants that celebrating this event together promotes brotherhood and peaceful coexistence amongst different communities and faiths. He also informed the audience that the money from the “Zakat al Fitr” will be used to aid refugee families in accommodation centers in Greece. Furthermore, Mr. Haider pointed out that this decision had been taken earlier in this month by the Shia Muslim community council in order to contribute to the refugee crises that is currently taking place in Greece. Actually, by reminding us the feelings of a person in a situation of hunger, the Fasting of the Ramadan teaches us to eradicate hunger on the collective level, and in every possible way.
Shortly before the end of the event, the Minister repeated the government’s commitment to build a mosque and a cemetery in the region of Attica. As Mr. Filis pointed out: “You live in a democratic country. You are offering so much here and you can building your own future. We want you to be here as equal, to offer and to win, and so we try to facilitate the execution of your religious traditions and needs. Our government has decided and will soon proceed to establish a mosque and a Muslim cemetery.”
SHIA MUSLIM COMMUNITY OF GREECE