Havering Islamic Cultural Centre’s Eid celebration in Romford celebrates inclusivity and hospitality

PUBLISHED: 12:38 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:38 18 September 2017

Opening day at the Havering Islamic Centre, in Romford.

Opening day at the Havering Islamic Centre, in Romford.


Romford’s Muslims used their annual Eid celebration to help spread a message of inclusivity and love this weekend.

The Havering Islamic Cultural Centre held the event at their Waterloo Road premises on Sunday, and welcomed Romford MP Andrew Rosendell, deputy mayor of Havering councillor Dilip Patel and a number of other local dignitaries.

There was something for everyone at the event, with children able to get their faces painted and enjoy the bouncy castle, while adults could enjoy a series of talks from guest speakers before grabbing some food at an outdoor barbecue.

Tariq Mahmood, vice chairman of the Havering Islamic Cultural Centre, told the Recorder: “It was a very good day, we had a lot of visitors and we made sure we gave them all a warm welcome.

“The message we want to put out is that everyone is welcome to come and visit us, whether they’re planned or unnanounced, we’re happy to welcome people.

“We made sure to invite all our local neighbours to the event, and it was nice that some of them came in to say hello.”

As a pharmacist, Mr Mahmood was also on hand to offer free diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol checks.

Last week, the centre also hosted a Havering Interfaith Forum event discussing tolerance between faiths, where Muslims, Jews, Christians and a host of other faiths gave their perspective on what it means to be religious in the 21st century.

“I think there is a bit of a negative stereotype about Muslims and we want to put that right,” Mr Mahmood added.

“The majority of Muslims are normal people who go out to their jobs and are happy to meet and help new people – here at the centre we try to be as inclusive as possible and let everyone know that they’re welcome.”

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