I had a stroll around the Eid funfair and celebration in Fryent Country Park earlier this week and was impressed by the friendly family atmosphere which managed to combine fun, food and prayer in a novel way.
The celebration was in Fryent for the first time having transferred from Barham Park where it was held last year and the move seemed to have been successful. Many local people, Muslim and non-Muslim, were enjoying themselves despite the dodgy weather.
The mixture was interesting in the light of Brent Council's decision not to fund religious festivals because they claim that they are not inclusive of all communities. This event has never claimed council funds and is funded by sponsorship and donations but the organisers, 1Eid, make it clear where they stand on inclusivity, They state that their mission is to strengthen and unite local communities by reviving, celebrating and sharing the essence of Eid and their aims include:
- Sharing Eid with the family of mankind
- Empowering women through Eid by including them
- Providing the opportunity for the development of unbiased opinions about Islam
- Delighting local communities with funfairs, food and culture
STAND WITH US FIRM and help us eradicate islamaphobia through celebration and smilesAs I remarked the organisers have never claimed government or council funding but what they are doing certainly challenges some of the ideas expressed by councillors and council officers about festivals and inclusivity.