People from across Burnley and Pendle were invited to break their fast at Burnley FC’s first ever Community Iftar.

The evening meal was hosted by the team at Burnley in The Community with the support of Building Beridgesa in Burnley and local charities.

The fasting month of Ramadan began on March 23 and is to end 29 or 30 days later culminating in the festival of Eid.

The club said the event aimed to ‘foster unity and emphasised both the club and community’s dedication to promoting diversity and inclusivity by breaking down social barriers’.  

Director of Community Projects, Mike Colquhoun was joined by Leader of Burnley Council, Afrasiab Anwar, Head of Matchday Operations Russell Ball and CEO Helen Gurman.

First-team player, Anass Zaroury, was unable to attend the event, but sent a message to attendees, via video link. 

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The event began with a recitation of the Quran by Hafiz Abdul Alim of the Lancashire Council of Mosques followed by words by Bea Foster of Burnley Building Bridges and representatives of Islamic Relief who highlighted the work the charity had been doing in Turkey and Syria.

Saif Ali, delivered a Nasheed (Islamic hymn), which was complemented by a Quranic recitation by Hafiz Nafees.

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Local charity Community Outreach were applauded for their incredible work during Covid which for assisting families of the deceased. 

Mayed Omraj from the group said: “What an absolute privilege for our team to attend the first ever Iftaar arranged at Burnley FC on behalf of Community Outreach UK. Burnley is such a multicultural and diverse town, it was great to celebrate by bringing communities together. 

“All were united through the love for football and for Burnley FC. A great milestone, one to remember by many. 

“As a charitable organisation working within the community, our aim is to build an integrated, strong bonded community through projects like these which unite people for the pursuit of peace and harmony. Thank you for having us.”

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The evening meal held around 7.50pm was attended by people from across the region (Pictures: Burnley in the Community)

A final call to prayer was delivered by Imam Anwar and later a meal was served courtesy of the Ghausia Mosque.  

Leader of Burnley Council Afrasiab Anwar said: “Ramadan is not just about fasting but also about community, and that’s why we were delighted to work with Burnley FC to bring all our communities together at Turf Moor. 

“Everyone I spoke to had a wonderful time and really felt valued and it just goes to show how important the club is to the people of the town. Hopefully this is just the first of many projects. These are exciting times for Burnley on and off the pitch.”