More than 150 people attended a belated celebration of Eid Al-Adha by the Muslim community in Dudley last Sunday.  

The Salaam Dudley event – supported by HOPE not hate and Unite Communities - drew together members of various communities to break bread and commemorate the holy day with a dinner at the Quality Hotel.

People were generously greeted with samosas and treated to a free meal that included tandoori chicken, dahl and lamb curry.

Imam Rabb from the Queens Cross Mosque provided a blessing before the meal and recited a passage of the Quran describing the common Semitic story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. Whilst names and details vary across the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith, Imam Rabb spoke of the lessons of sacrifice and humility and its importance today. 

MP for Dudley North, Ian Austin, gave a speech highlighting the importance of these events in building community resilience against extremists. He spoke positively about the generosity of the Muslim community in Dudley and his own values in rejecting racism and bigotry.

HOPE not hate organiser, Arun Devasia, provided the final words reflecting on the positive atmosphere and value of community cohesion. “Events like the one today show that there is far more goodwill in our communities than some politicians would have us believe,” he said, referring to Boris Johnsons’ recent comments mocking Muslim women.

The success of Salaam Dudley was only possible due to the collaboration of Dudley's Muslim community, particularly the event organisers Khalid Mahmood, Jamal Nettleford, Onka Singh, and Sajad Karim as well as that of Unite Communities. 

The symbolism of the event was not lost on those who recalled the English Defence League march in Dudley in 2015. The march had caused division, which community events such as Salaam Dudley aim to heal.