This Christmas Eve has been slightly different in some of Britain’s towns, with crowds of Muslims gathered to celebrate ‘Milad un-Nabi’ – the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
And rarely ever ones to miss an electoral opportunity, the event has been seized upon by at least one Labour Member of Parliament – Simon Danczuk – who took to Twitter to reflect upon the “Great march through #Rochdale today to celebrate the prophet’s birthday”. Another march took place in Sparkhill, Birmingham – a highly “diverse” area of the United Kingdom’s second city.
For Sunni Muslims, Milad un-Nabi is usually celebrated on the 12th day of the Islamic calendar month Rabi’ al-awwal, while the Shia Muslims celebrate it on the 17th of their month.
This year, the 12th coincides with Christmas Eve, and while some Muslims around the UK took the step of celebrating in public earlier this month, at least two groups decided they wanted to march through British town centres on Christmas Eve.