A government minister was accused today of bad manners and political expediency for walking out of a Muslim wedding in London after being told he could not sit with his wife.
Jim Fitzpatrick, the minister for food, farming and environment, left a constituent’s wedding at the London Muslim Centre, next door to and run by the East London mosque in Whitechapel, after being told that male and female guests were to be segregated.
Fitzpatrick said it was “strange” he could not sit with his GP wife Sheila at the ceremony on Sunday. “We’ve been attending [Muslim] weddings together for years but only recently has this strict line been taken. We left so as not to cause offence,” he said. But the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) accused the minister of turning a private matter for the families concerned into a political issue.
The Muslim Centre in London’s East End has been voted top mosque in Britain in a national contest. It beat off stiff competition from the prestigious Central London Mosque in Regent’s Park in a poll organised by Islam TV Channel, held at Sunday’s Global Peace and Unity event at the London Excel Arena.
The £50,000 prize money is going towards a centre for Muslim women and girls. The mosque in Whitechapel is in the planning stages of building a new section which will house dedicated services for women.
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The Oldham Muslim Centre held its first Eid prayers last week to a full house. Organisers had to hold two congregations due to the large number of people who turned up to make their prayers for Eid.
The imam and spokesperson for OMC, Shaykh Abdullah Al Mamun told congregation to take what they learnt from the month of Ramadan to help shape the rest of the year and live a “moral and family orientated life.” The Eid congregation was the conclusion to an intense and busy month at the OMC with worshippers, who attended in hundreds every day making the OMC a lively hub for the community in Oldham.
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