A Muslim group aimed at fostering peace and integration in Ireland has joined members of the country’s LGBT community to break fast during Ramadan, it was reported on Monday.
In an effort to display “true Islamic ideals”, the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council invited a whole host of people from outside the faith to share in the spirit of the holy holiday on Saturday.
Fasting is observed from dawn to sunset during Ramadan to display self-restraint and is one of the five pillars of Islam.
During the day, participants in the holy event must refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, sex, and other pleasures until nightfall.
“As more than one billion Muslims worldwide celebrate Ramadan by fasting and appreciating the blessings given to us it is equally important for the Irish Muslim community to reach out to our neighbours as an example of true Islamic ideals,” said Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, imam and chairman of the council.
The shared Iftar dinner, the meal when the fast is ended, took place in Dublin and was also attended by Jewish holocaust survivor and guest speaker Tomi Reichental.
Al-Qadri has been an outspoken supporter of the LGBT community in Ireland, likening discrimination against gay and transgender people to that experienced by Muslims.
Following the Orlando shootings at a gay nightclub in Florida, he told the Irish Examiner that he stood with the LGBT community.
“I stand with the LGBT community and I am against the marginalization of any group,” he said.
“It should not have happened. We are a minority ourselves, we understand what discrimination is.”