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FIRST MINISTER'S EID UL-FITR MESSAGE

07-09-2010

Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, released a special ‘Id (Eid) message today:

Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim festival that comes at the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. Eid will be celebrated on 9 and 10 September.

Recorded at Blackhall Mosque in Edinburgh, First Minister Alex Salmond said:

"On behalf of the Scottish Government, I am delighted to send my sincere and warmest wishes to Muslims across Scotland, and around the world, who are marking the end of Ramadan by celebrating Eid al-Fitr.

"Scotland's Muslims, and our many other minority ethnic and faith communities, are valued and appreciated by this Government for their contribution to our culture, society and economy.

"The holy month of Ramadan encourages Muslims to reflect on the poor and hungry throughout the world and the burden they bear.

"So this year's Eid will be a poignant occasion for many Muslims, as we remember those whose lives have been left devastated by the recent flooding in Pakistan.

"Charity is at the heart of Ramadan, and at the close of Ramadan, Muslims give Sadaqa-Ul-Fitr, a donation that allows those who are struggling to make ends meet to also enjoy the festivities of Eid.

"And, this year, Mosques throughout Scotland are collecting for aid to Pakistan. Here at the Blackhall Mosque in Edinburgh, where I am recording this message, I have been privileged and humbled to see the work that is going on to collect goods and money and to see that they are delivered to Pakistan.

"The scale of suffering in Pakistan is immense and ongoing. So far, Scots have given - with typical generosity - over #3.9 million to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal and we must continue to do all we can do to help those whose homes and communities were destroyed by these floods.

"The Scottish Government made £807,000 available last week to assist the Pakistani aid effort. We are in regular contact with Scottish aid agencies working in Pakistan, to monitor the situation on the ground, so that we can help to provide further assistance where and when needed."

"So let me repeat my best wishes to Muslims across Scotland who will be enjoying festivities with family and friends this Eid, whilst our hearts and thoughts are also with the people of Pakistan. Eid Mubarak to everyone."

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