SOUTHAMPTON’s Muslim community invited the wider community to share one of their most important festivals.

During the month of Ramadan the city’s 20,000 Muslims fast during daylight, refusing to take either water or food but at sundown break the fast, called Iftar. Ramadan is a time when Muslims are expected to spiritually reflect and increase their devotion and worship.

Among the invited guests at the Iftar event was Southampton Itchen MP John Denham and city councillor Derek Burke.

Navid Hamid, co-chairman of the public relations and media group at Southampton Medina Mosque Ltd, in St Mary’s Road, said: “We have invited people from all walks of life, all religions, and no religion, to come down to help break the fast and talk about the current situation.”

Meanwhile Mr Denham has been asked to sign a petition that urges greater recognition that terrorism should not be equated with Muslims and Islam.

The petition has been started by young Muslims in Southampton and has already attracted 1,450 names.

Organiser Hasam Al Jabbar said: “We started this before the Woolwich attacks. We noticed the phrase ‘Islamist terrorists’ being used in the media. The BNP and EDL use that phrase. Terrorists are criminals.”

Mr Al Jabbar said he hoped that the Government would recognise that “terrorism is not a person and has no religion, race, gender, or nationality, but is an act of crime.”

The mosque condemned the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich in May. Since the murder there have been around a dozen attacks on mosques across the UK.