Event is part of ‘The Great Get Together’ in memory of murdered MP, Jo Cox

People across Oxford will be welcomed by the city’s Muslim community on Thursday evening to ‘The Grand Iftar,’ being held as part of events to commemorate the anniversary of Jo Cox’s death.

The Iftar - the meal Muslims eat at sunset to break their fast each day during Ramadan - will take place at the Asian Cultural Centre from 8pm onwards. Guests at the event, which is open to the public, will include people from Oxford’s homeless community, the Lord Mayor elect and leaders from the city’s different faith groups.

Guests will be able to learn more about Ramadan and observe the sunset prayer that marks the breaking of the fast. A special Iftar meal, prepared by volunteers, will be served at 9.15pm, with some of the food donated by the local community and local restaurants.

The Great Get Together is a nationwide event that will see communities come together in what is expected to be the biggest expression of national unity since the Diamond Jubilee. It is inspired by Jo Cox’s maiden speech in parliament, when she said: “we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us”.

Over 100,000 events of all kinds are expected to take place across the UK, with the majority of them happening over the weekend of 16-18 June.

The Grand Iftar has has been organised by the Oxford Homeless Project in partnership with The Big Iftar, The Great Get Together and students from the Islamic societies at Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University.

Shabnam Sabir, founder of the Oxford Homeless Project, said:

“The Great Get Together is the perfect opportunity to bring people together to celebrate the true essence of what community is all about!

“Ramadan is all about sharing and caring and what better way to show this than inviting the people of Oxford to join us for a community Iftar meal. Not only will it bring different communities together, it will bridge a greater understanding between people of different faiths and no faiths.”

Brendan Cox, Jo Cox’s husband, said:

“At this particularly delicate time, when community relations are under such strain and certain voices in society are attempting to stoke hatred and divide us, this event couldn’t be more welcome.

“It’s a wonderful demonstration of the openness, tolerance and understanding that’s so needed right now. I’m hugely grateful to everybody involved for putting this together, and especially to our friends at The Big Iftar and Oxford Homeless Project for making it a part of The Great Get Together.”

Julie Siddiqi, national coordinator of the Big Iftar who are organising various Iftars to mark The Great Get Together, said:

“I love The Great Get Together! For Muslims it is Ramadan on that weekend which means we will be inviting people to share meals with us as we break our fast. Hospitality and friendship are key to breaking down barriers and getting to know people as friends. We must keep away from the divisive narrative that some are spreading and instead reach out to each other more not less. It will be a great weekend which will leave a lasting legacy that we can all work with long into the future.”

You can find out how to take part at