Friday, 17 August 2012


This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
MP joins community to break fast
A Leicester MP fasted for a day during Ramadan, in solidarity with his Muslim constituents.
Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, went without food or water on Wednesday to gain a greater understanding of what being a British Muslim is like.
Mr Ashworth fasted from 3am until 8.30pm, spending time with religious leaders, schoolchildren and community members, while carrying out his daily parliamentary tasks.
His experience was filmed as part of the Liberty Media Productions documentary "Breaking the Fast".
Mr Ashworth said: "Ramadan is such an important spiritual time of year for thousands of families across Leicester and I wanted to both show my support to the Muslim community and also experience fasting for myself – even if just for one day.
"I started the day at 3am and finished by breaking the fast at Masjid Umar mosque.
"Like many Muslims across Leicester, I went about my usual day and was in the office dealing with the many issues I deal with.
"By the afternoon, I was beginning to feel very thirsty and hungry but remained determined."
The documentary is the latest in a string of productions from award-winning Leicester film-maker Dr Halla Diyab.
Dr Diyab said: "The public are bombarded with messages about what being a Muslim entails, but I believe these reports are usually wide of the mark.
"Leicester is one of Britain's most diverse cities and I think it's important that people try as many aspects of different cultures as possible to promote a shared sense of community."
Dr Diyab will be talking to interested broadcasters about rights to the documentary after filming is completed this week.

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