MEMBERS of Skipton’s Muslim community, special guests and senior North Yorkshire Police officers came together one evening last week to break their fast at the end of the day during the month of Ramadan.
Chief Constable Lisa Winward and Deputy Chief Constable Mabs Hussain, along with a number of police officers and personnel, shared iftar – the meal that Muslim friends and family share together to break their fast during the period of Ramadan.
A representative of the company behind the design and manufacture of the North Yorkshire Police bespoke police hijab was also present at the event.
Organized by Sergeant Arfan Rahouf, Force Operational Officer for Faith and Belief, members of the community gathered with officers from the former Ings Primary School in Broughton Road to give thanks and share a number of delicious dishes prepared by Bradford-based catering company MyLahore.
Ramadan, which this year ends on Sunday, May 1, is observed by Muslims around the world as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.
Speaking about the event, Police Chief Winward, who had been fasting all day, said Ramadan was a special time of the year.
“It is an absolute pleasure to come together with the local community to share iftar,” she said.
“Ramadan is a very special time of year that highlights the dedication and devotion of our Muslim community. It is a time of reflection and gratitude for the good things in our lives, of helping those less fortunate , kindness and sharing; something I really felt here tonight.”
She added: “I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who came and also to Arfan for organizing such a brilliant event and bringing us all together. Ramadan Mubarak.”
Special guests had also been invited to break their fast, such as Nazia Nazir of PardaParadise, the company that supplies North Yorkshire Police’s bespoke police hijab. The PardaParadise team spent over a year designing the hijab, ensuring it met rigorous safety standards and was fit for purpose.
Speaking about the project, Ms Nazir said: “I would like to thank North Yorkshire Police for giving me this opportunity to be involved in the design and production of a product that is close to our hearts here at PardaParadise.
“We followed the strictest health and safety guidelines to ensure that hijab-wearing police officers would be comfortable and safe while wearing the head and neck hijab set. It has It took our team over 12 months in the design phase and then into production here in the UK I am humbled and proud to be involved in a project like this that has enabled PardaParadise to support Muslim officers.
Sgt Rahouf, who was also involved in the development of the hijab, said, “I am extremely proud of the design of the hijab and would like to thank Nazia and her team for their continued support in providing the right hijab to Muslim female officers. It’s really important to us at North Yorkshire Police to make sure every police officer’s uniform is fit for purpose and I’m really delighted to say that this design has now been made available to 43 police officers across North Yorkshire Police. than other organizations nationwide.
“As a police force, we are committed to being more representative of the communities we serve and to building a more inclusive workforce. By coming together to share iftar, we can deepen these relationships through a better understanding of our shared values, which enables us to provide better service to all of our communities.
Sergeant Rahouf tweets about being a police officer on duty throughout Ramadan. Follow him @349Rahouf