Fast with your Muslim neighbour says Boris

The Mayor of London has called on people to fast during Ramadan even if they are not Muslim.

Boris Johnson suggested that during Ramadan Londoners should go to a mosque to understand more about their “Muslim neighbour”.

The Mayor also said Muslims are “at the heart of every aspect of society”.

He continued: “Muslim police officers, doctors, scientists and teachers are an essential part of the fabric of London.”

Mr Johnson urged people “particularly during Ramadan, to find out more about Islam, increase your understanding and learning, even fast for a day with your Muslim neighbour and break your fast at the local mosque”.

He was addressing a meeting at a mosque in Tower Hamlets, home to London’s largest Muslim population.

While some councils have encouraged Islamic observance, many have discouraged Christian festivals and traditions.

Councils embarrassed by Christianity:

BidefordMarch 2008 – the National Association of Local Councils wrongly advised Bideford Town Council in Devon that it could be sued for opening its meetings with Christian prayers.

TorbayJune 2005 – Torbay Council removes a wooden cross from the wall of a crematorium chapel, and renames the building a ‘ceremony hall’.

NorfolkMay 2005 – Norfolk County Council warns a Christian-run shelter for the homeless that it will lose £150,000 of funding unless it stops saying grace at mealtimes and putting out Bibles for use by guests.

IslingtonNovember 2005 – Islington Council bans Christmas lights and replaces them with “festive decorations”.

PeterboroughDecember 2004 – Peterborough City Council bans staff from sending each other Christmas greetings by email.

WorcesterNovember 2004 – Worcestershire County Council is urged by one of its ‘equality champions’ to scrap its 116 year-old tradition of beginning its bi-monthly meetings with Anglican prayers.

BuckinghamshireDecember 2003 – Buckinghamshire County Council banned a church from publicising its Christmas services on a community notice board to avoid offending other religions.