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Islamic Relief looks beyond war on terror and declares ‘war on hunger’ in hard-hitting Ramadan campaign

Islamic Relief looks beyond war on terror and declares ‘war on hunger’ in hard-hitting Ramadan campaign

Islamic Relief is launching a hard-hitting fundraising campaign for Ramadan, urging the Muslim community and the wider public to look beyond the politics of war and terrorism and support its life-saving and life-changing work in the midst of conflict in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East.

“We’re declaring war on hunger this Ramadan because when we look beyond the war on terror and the politics of the Syrian conflict we see ordinary people who are suffering in the most extraordinary ways,” says Jehangir Malik, Islamic Relief’s UK Director. “We’re working in some of the most dangerous countries in the world and getting aid through to some of the world’s most vulnerable and malnourished people.”

Islamic Relief’s War on Hunger campaign includes eye-catching ‘It’s war’ billboards, newspaper and online advertising and hard-hitting television and cinema ads. “Insha’Allah, we will not give up on those in need – we will continue to deliver relief in the most dangerous countries in the world,” says the campaign’s main TV advertisement, which will also be seen in cinemas all over the country. “We will not cease until hunger is eradicated. We have declared war…not on man, but on hunger.”

The campaign draws inspiration from a hadith (saying of the Prophet) that urges Muslims to challenge injustice in a variety of ways.

“The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said that whoever sees something wrong should change it with his hand, and if he cannot then with his tongue, and failing that with this heart,” says Jehangir Malik. “We want to encourage our supporters to act against hunger and injustice with hands, tongues and hearts this Ramadan, by donating, campaigning and praying for change.”

The month of Ramadan is a time when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and in the UK alone give over £100 million to charity as they think about those less fortunate than themselves – including the hungry. Islamic Relief receives around a third of its annual income during Ramadan, and has been campaigning on hunger this year as a member of the Enough Food for Everyone IF Campaign.

The new War on Hunger campaign aims to show that the answers to hunger lie not only in providing short-term food aid but also in support for agriculture and the water systems, schools, health care and education projects needed to lift millions out of poverty.

The campaign is supported by three short films focusing on Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, which will be shown at events around the country and on the Islamic Relief website. Each film includes harrowing accounts of innocent people caught up in conflict or neglected because of it, but also highlights how Islamic Relief is making a world of difference. The films will be made available on the Islamic Relief website on June 28 (Syria), July 4 (Pakistan) and July 9 (Afghanistan).

The Syria film features Salima, a grandmother from Dera’a whose murdered son’s dismembered body was returned to her in a bin bag before she escaped to Jordan. With her is her little grandson Jalal, who never knew his father because his mother was pregnant with him when 23-year-old Jabar was killed.

Islamic Relief is providing food for Salima’s family and tens of thousands of others in northern Jordan as part of its major relief operation in the region, which has so far assisted 1.1 million people inside Syria and in neighbouring countries. The charity has helped a total of 15.6 million people worldwide in the past year.

The Syria film gets its first public showing in the fortnight preceding Ramadan, at a series of fundraising dinners in the north of England, Scotland and Wales featuring the poet Boonaa Mohammed and eminent imam Sheikh Saed Rageah. The events take place in Liverpool (June 28), Bradford (June 29), Newcastle (June 30), Glasgow (July 1), Cardiff (July 2), Swansea (July 3), Rochdale (July 4), Sheffield (July 5) and Manchester (July 6).


For more information, to obtain pictures or footage or to arrange an interview, contact Martin Cottingham ([email protected] / 07702-940982).


  • The campaign’s cinema advertising starts on June 28 and will run in cinemas in Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Cardiff, Coventry, Crawley, Feltham, Glasgow, Gateshead, Greenwich, Edinburgh, High Wycombe, Ilford, Leicester, Leeds/Bradford, Luton, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Rochdale, Shaftesbury Avenue, Sheffield, Staples Corner, Stoke on Trent, Uxbridge, Wandsworth, Wood Green, Wolverhampton
  • For full details of individual events on the tour by Boonaa Mohammed and Sheikh Saed Rageah – including times, venues and ticket prices – visit

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