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Muslims to the fore in IF hunger campaign’s national fast and mass Hyde Park gathering

Muslims to the fore in IF hunger campaign’s national fast and mass Hyde Park gathering

Muslims across the UK are taking part in a national fast day on June 6 and a mass gathering called The Big IF in London’s Hyde Park on June 8 to call for action to end hunger at the G8 Summit later this month (June 17-18). The events are part of the Enough Food for Everyone IF Campaign, backed by 200 charities and campaigning organisations.

Staff of Muslim organisations Human Appeal International, Islamic Relief and MADE in Europe – all members of the Enough Food for Everyone IF Campaign – will be among those fasting. Saif Ahmad (Chief Executive of MADE in Europe) will be speaking at a public iftar at the London Muslim Centre (82-92 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JQ – 8-10pm). Othman Moqbel (Chief Executive of Human Appeal International) will be hosting a public multifaith iftar at the Muslim Youth Foundation (Clydesdale House, 27 Turner Street, Manchester M4 1DY – 8-10pm. Zeshaan Ali (Islamic Relief’s Midlands Fundraising and Volunteer Manager) is attending a ‘come and not eat lunch’ event in Birmingham to publicise the campaign on fast day (Birmingham Cathedral, Colmore Row, Birmingham B2 2QB – 12.30-1.30pm).

Saif Ahmed says: “There is great emphasis in our deen on addressing hunger and poverty, giving charity, advocating on behalf of the poor and always keeping the hungry in mind. That’s why I’m fasting on June 6: the Big IF Fast is an opportunity for Muslims to show that we are hungry for change and we want world leaders to take action to end hunger.”

Zeshaan Ali says: “Every 15 seconds, a child dies of malnutrition. The G8 leaders can end the scandal of hunger, but only if we show them how important we think this issue is. I want to encourage as many Muslims as possible to fast on June 6.”

Othman Moqbel says: “I’m fasting on June 6 because I want world leaders to take a big step towards ending hunger by ensuring poor farmers aren’t driven off their land and big companies don’t dodge taxes in poor countries. I’m also heading for Hyde Park on June 8 because I want to make my contribution to the huge ‘field of flowers’ visual petition and hear major speakers like Bill Gates supporting the campaign.”

One in eight people in the world goes to bed hungry, even though there is enough food for everyone. Supporters of the IF Campaign believe world leaders can bring this scandal to an end, but only

· IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land, and grow crops for food, not fuel.

· IF governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries, so millions of people can free themselves from hunger.

· IF governments and big companies are honest about their actions that stop people getting enough food.

· IF we give life-saving aid to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest families feed themselves.

The Big IF London (2-5pm on June 8 in Hyde Park) is a free event hosted by Gethin Jones and Myleene Klass. It will feature inspiring speeches from philanthropist Bill Gates and former Archbishop of Canterbury and Chair of Christian Aid Rowan Williams. Specially recorded messages from David Beckham and Eddie Izzard will be broadcast to the crowd.

Everyone at the event will help create a visual petition to demonstrate the scale of public support for the IF Campaign. The petition will be made up of 250,000 spinning flowers, with a total of two million petals representing the two million children who die of hunger each year – lives that can be saved if world leaders take action at the G8.

The day promises to offer something for everyone, with interactive areas throughout the site. These will include a children’s area with professional story-tellers, hat and kite making classes and drawing lessons. There will also be dedicated areas for YouTubers and bloggers and a fun ‘Make IF Happen’ area with buskers and photo opportunities.

IF enough people fast on June 6 and come together on June 8 to create a big noise about hunger, G8 leaders will have to sit up and listen.


For more information about the Big IF Fast or to arrange an interview with one of the Muslim organisations supporting the campaign, please contact Sadia Sajid 07402880090 ([email protected]), Arwa Ibrahim on 07903-479066 ([email protected] ) or Martin Cottingham on 07702-940982 ([email protected]).

For general media enquiries about The Big IF London please contact Raphaella Woods on 020 7820 2511 ([email protected]).

Note to editors

Enough Food For Everyone IF is a joint coalition of over 200 UK organisations campaigning for action to eliminate the causes of hunger. There is enough food for everyone, yet one in eight people do not have enough food. This year, world leaders must tackle hunger and save millions of lives. If you want to stop the scandal, join the IF campaign at

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