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Arlene Foster to attend Ramadan celebration event


Reaching out: Arlene Foster

Reaching out: Arlene Foster


Reaching out: Arlene Foster

DUP leader Arlene Foster will mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan today during a visit organised by the Belfast Islamic Centre.

The former First Minister will be joined at the Boucher Road event by DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly.

"In my recent speech in London I said unionism stands for pluralism and multiculturalism," Mrs Foster said.

"We should be inclusive and welcome all. I meant that then and I mean it now.

"I want to genuinely reach out to our minority communities and show them the hand of friendship, recognising they have made Northern Ireland their home," she said.

"I'm looking forward to visiting our Muslim friends as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr with our South Belfast MP Emma Little-Pengelly.

"I love Northern Ireland and I want everyone who calls this place their home to feel at home here."

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Eid al-Fitr is the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, the month during which Muslims fast during daylight hours and refrain from sexual activity, among other things.

It is four years since former DUP leader Peter Robinson, stoked controversy over his views on Muslims.

While defending firebrand preacher Pastor James McConnell, the then-First Minister said that while he wouldn't trust Muslims to give him spiritual advice, he "would have no difficulty in trusting Muslims to go down to the shop for me, to give me the right change."

Mr Robinson later issued a public apology for his remarks. He also visited the Belfast Islamic Centre to apologise there also.

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