The Indian embassy in Cairo hosted an iftar banquet as part of its annual tradition to commemorate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. India’s Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya greeted the guests in Arabic and wished them a blessed Ramadan at the banquet held yesterday. “This is a time when the country with the second largest population of Muslims comes together in prayers and charity, feasting and fasting. Prayer and fasting are common to many religions in my country although it may be in different times of the year,” Bhattacharyya said.
He said that India has respect and tolerance for all religions due to the country’s diversity. “This Ramdan, a temple in Kerala hosted an iftar party for 500 Indian Muslims. Kerala is home to some oldest mosques in the world — the Cheraman Juma Masjid, built around 629 AD, only seven years after the Prophet (Mohammed) migrated to Madina (in 622),” Bhattarcharya told the guests. He mentioned that Islam is part of the Indian culture as it appears in different aspects of life.
“Our engagement with Islam as a faith is a long history of our syncretic evolution. You’ll find the traces in our costumes, domestic life, music and fashion… in the way we are cooking, in the ceremonies of marriage and in the celebrations of festivals and fairs,” he added. The iftar was attended by Indian-Muslims in Egypt, Egyptian friends of the embassy and government representatives.