Archbishop of Canterbury wishes 'Eid Mubarak' to Muslims: 'We rejoice with you'
The Archbishop of Canterbury has wished Muslims "Eid Mubarak" as the Islamic fast in Ramadan comes to an end and the celebrations begin.
Justin Welby said his prayer for Muslims was that they were "filled afresh with being able to share with and support one another". The greeting means "a blessed Eid" or "happy Eid" and is used to mark the beginning of the Eid al-Fitr celebrations at the end of the fast.
In a video statement Welby spoke of the "great confusion" and "uncertain times" in the UK and assured Muslims they were "very much part of our community".
An Eid address has become a habit for the Archbishop in recent years as he forges links across faith communities. This year's statement comes after a speech in the House of Lords on Tuesday where he condemned the "poison and hatred" that he said emerged during the referendum campaign. He urged political leaders to tackle the "xenophobia and racism" seen since the UK's vote to leave the European Union.
Welby told Muslims in his address on Wednesday that language had been used "to condemn those who have come to live in this country" even if they have been here for 40 or 50 years. "We pray that you will be assured of your welcome and that you are loved and valued," he said.
"The capacity to party as well as to pray is very good news indeed,"he added.
Eid al-Fitr is a major festival in the Islamic calendar and comes at the end of Muslims' holy month of Ramadan. The celebrations focus on prayers, the exchanging of gifts and thanking Allah for helping Muslims complete their fast.
It is the only day of the year Muslims are not allowed to fast and there is an obligation to make a donation to charity and celebrations with family and friends.