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Labour leader and former Archbishop are main speakers as Islamic Relief launches War on Hunger for Ramadan

Labour leader and former Archbishop are main speakers as Islamic Relief launches War on Hunger for Ramadan

  • Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP and Rt Rev & Rt Hon The Lord Rowan Williams speak at London dinner
  • UK’s biggest Muslim charity unveils hard-hitting War on Hunger Ramadan campaign and announces support for UK food banks
  • Some speakers will be available for media interviews at the venue: Church House, Westminster

The Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will be the keynote speakers at a VIP dinner in Central London on July 4 hosted by Islamic Relief – the UK’s biggest Muslim charity. The dinner celebrates the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins on July 8, and sees the launch of Islamic Relief’s War on Hunger Ramadan campaign.

The dinner will take place at 6.30pm at Church House, Westminster. Mr Miliband and Dr Williams (now a life peer; Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge; and Chair of Christian Aid) will speak at around 6.50pm and 7.15pm respectively. Also speaking are Baroness Sayeeda Warsi (Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Minister for Faith and Communities), Sadiq Khan MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor), Mehdi Hasan (Political Editor, Huffington Post), Dr Mohamed Ashmawey (CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide) and Jehangir Malik (Islamic Relief’s UK Director). Confirmed guests include a host of parliamentarians, ambassadors, Muslim community leaders, business people and high-profile personalities.

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 are delighted to have such an illustrious group of speakers joining us to welcome Ramadan and hear about our campaign,” says Jehangir Malik. “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. 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.

“We’re also announcing that for the first time this Ramadan Islamic Relief is supporting food banks in the UK in partnership with the Trussell Trust, acknowledging the extent of poverty on our own doorstep. We want Muslims and the wider community to help us make a positive difference at home and in the world’s poorest countries.”

Islamic Relief’s War on Hunger campaign includes eye-catching ‘It’s war’ billboards, newspaper and online advertising and television and cinema ads. 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 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 Syria and Afghanistan films will both be shown at the July 4 event.


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


  • All speakers except Ed Miliband and Dr Williams, who need to depart early for other engagements, will be available for interview between the end of the formal programme (7.45pm) and dinner (8pm).
  • The campaign’s cinema advertising started on June 28 and is running 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 and Wolverhampton.

Islamic Relief is an international aid and development charity that aims to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people. As well as responding to disasters and emergencies, Islamic Relief promotes sustainable economic and social development by working with local communities – regardless of race, religion or gender. Islamic Relief is also one of the 14 UK charities that form the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee)

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