Archbishop's 2006 Eid Message
Monday 23rd October 2006
I send you my warmest greetings on the occasion of your celebration of Eid al Fitr at the ending of the Ramadan month of fasting, reflection and prayer. I hope that this day will be for you and all Muslims, one of joy and praise of God, and that it will be an opportunity not only to embrace other Muslims, but also to take the hand of friendship, which I gladly offer on behalf of the Church.
It has been a privilege and a source of real pleasure that I have been able to meet personally in the year past with so many Muslim friends and colleagues both in the United Kingdom and internationally. I look forward in the year ahead to renewing such friendships and to developing many new ones. I believe that in the context of the Building Bridges seminars, through the Christian Muslim Forum and through other formal and informal meetings, we have laid good foundations and that these will stand us in good stead in testing times.
I am very conscious of the strains and stresses that Muslim and other communities are under in many places internationally and at home. I am clear of the substantial contribution that Muslim communities have made for some decades now as full and valued citizens of this country and as friends and neighbours. As people of faith we need to be able to practice our faith openly, to share the sources of our confidence and joy with others and to make our undoubted contribution to the common good. These are the simple desires that we all hold dear.
The challenge for us in the years ahead is to resist those who advocate or justify violence in the name of religion and I look forward to further opportunities to renew and strengthen friendships and to further initiatives through which all our communities will be able to demonstrate to the wider world our mutual respect. I believe that we have so much to offer.
May Almighty God bless us all.
© Rowan Williams 2006