SHAFAQNA -Â Three teachers from Wales who feel Muslims are â€œneedlessly vilifiedâ€ say they are standing by their Muslim students and the local Islamic community by taking part in a sponsored fast.
Speaking withÂ WalesOnline, Andrew Bodgin â€“ who teaches at the Celtic English Academy in Cardiff â€“ said the three staff members want to show others that the Islamic community and their culture are â€œnothing to be afraid of.â€
He added: â€œThe more we can connect with different peoples and their cultures, the better.â€
Along with Jon Letson and Jennifer John, the three teachers will go 19 hours without food or water this Friday July 3 to raise awareness of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The trio also wants to raise as much money as possible for the cityâ€™sÂ foodbank which says it has provided emergency help to 85,875 people in Wales since last year.
On the teachersâ€™Â Total Giving fundraising page, Mr Bodgin says: â€œBy participating in the fast, we hope to show solidarity with our Muslim students as well as those in our local community.â€
He also highlights the importance of Cardiff Foodbank because it â€œprovides a much-needed service for people who are struggling to find enough money to pay for food for their families.â€
He adds: â€œOver a million people relied on foodbanks last year in the UK and this number shows no sign of decreasing.
â€œIn the 6th richest country in the world, this situation dismays me.â€
Speaking withÂ WalesOnline, he said the teachers admire their Middle Eastern Muslim pupils who fast during the long summer days and said: â€œSeeing the efforts they make to study while doing Ramadan, we wanted to show we empathise and want to show that there is community support within the community here.â€
The trio will be breaking their fast forÂ Iftar at sundown this Friday at Cardiffâ€™s Dar Ul-Isra mosque.
The mosque says it is opening its doors to all after sundown this Ramadan â€“ regardless of faith â€“ to enjoy a three-course meal and will also be extending a helping hand to the homeless.