By Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
The reason that London is the greatest city in the world can be summed up in one word: Londoners.
Here in London, we don’t just tolerate our diversity, we celebrate and embrace it. We are a city made up of people from all backgrounds, outward-looking, forward-thinking and open to the world.
Whether you’re young or old, a member of an organised faith or a member of none, and whatever corner of the world you’re from, Londoners stand together, shoulder to shoulder.
Nowhere is this clearer than during religious holidays such as Easter, Diwali, Vaisakhi, Chanukah, Christmas and Eid, to name just a few, when Londoners celebrate together: by visiting each other’s homes, sharing a meal, or joining a big community celebration in Trafalgar Square and by doing all they can to learn about each other’s faiths and cultures.
Last year was my first Ramadan as Mayor and it is one I will remember forever. From breaking my fast with Londoners of all faiths and backgrounds at St James’s Church in Piccadilly and Finchley Reform Synagogue, to joining the Archbishop of Canterbury and Chief Rabbi at Lambeth Palace for a historic interfaith Iftar with young people from across the capital, it was fantastic to see Londoners from all our communities coming together to celebrate Islamic culture and share in our experience of Ramadan.
To me, that’s what Ramadan is all about: breaking down barriers and bringing people together. The number of amazing interfaith Iftars and celebrations that have taken place across the capital this Ramadan is incredible. I was pleased to take part in these, especially joining Cardinal Vincent Nichols and young people from the Diocese of Westminster and other faiths for a very special Iftar.
The Catholic Church in London has, for many years, been a major contributor to the strong inter-faith relations that we are so lucky to have in our great city. I am really pleased that you invited me to join you to break the fast. Our Iftar truly showcased London at its open and inclusive best.