YOUNG British Muslims are joining in an international campaign
on the internet to show solidarity with Christians by giving up
something for Lent.
Members of the Muslims4Lent group are using Facebook and Twitter
to upload photos of themselves holding placards that state what
they are giving up.
On a Facebook page, the movement's activists wrote: "We believe
in the power of interfaith dialogue and solidarity. Instead of
dwelling on the negative dialogue against Islam, we are choosing to
focus on the many people of other faiths that have extended their
hands towards the Muslim community to build a friendship and
One person involved is Sarah Ager, who is British, and teaches
English in Italy. She converted to Islam as an adult, and is active
in interfaith relations. She told BBC Radio 5 Live last weekend: "I
am not going to have sugar in my tea or snack, but that's just one
aspect of it.
"There are so many negative stories in the news about tension
between faith communities. . . Muslims4Lent is one way about
changing that narrative, and showing that people of diverse faiths
can work together towards shared goals, and support each other.
"The emphasis is sharing in things that unite us rather than
focusing on things that divide, and there is a real hunger for this
kind of dialogue, where people want to come together, especially
with things that are going on in the world at the moment."
The campaign was started by an American Muslim, Bassel Riche,
who is also the creator of the website EidPrayLove.com, which seeks
to showcase "the true teachings of Islam: peace, unity, and
"I am absolutely overwhelmed by all of this," he said on Friday.
When I'm reading some of the tweets and seeing people posting their
pictures I have to remind myself that I'm involved. The warm
embrace by Muslims and Christians alike shows that people are
thirsty for respect and understanding, that the majority of people
do not want to allow extremists of any faith to drive a wedge