05.08.2013 / For immediate release
Muslims gather in IF hunger campaign's mass Hyde Park rally
Muslim campaigners at the forefront of massive public demonstration to get world leaders to stop the silent scandal and injustice of hunger.
Muslims from across the UK took part in a mass gathering called The Big IF in London's Hyde Park on June 8 to call for action to end hunger at the G8 Summit later this month (June 17-18). The event was part of the Enough Food for Everyone IF Campaign, backed by 200 charities and campaigning organisations.
The Big IF London (2-5pm) was hosted by Gethin Jones and Myleene Klass. It featured inspiring speeches from philanthropist Bill Gates and former Archbishop of Canterbury and Chair of Christian Aid Rowan Williams.
Specially recorded messages from David Beckham and Eddie Izzard were broadcast to the crowd. Julie Siddiqi (Executive Director of the Islamic Society of Britain) who addressed the crowds during the rally said: "I am proud of the Muslim organisations like Islamic Relief, MADE in Europe and Human Appeal and Muslim Aid who have been at the forefront of the IF campaign along with so many other organisations. When we talk about faith it really is about living it – it really is about ACTION."
Everyone at the event helped create an iconic visual symbol of support for tackling the causes of hunger. The symbol was created with children's 250,000 spinning flowers, a powerful reminder of the two million children who die of hunger each year – lives that can be saved if world leaders take action at the G8.
Staff and volunteers of Muslim organisations Human Appeal International, Islamic Relief and MADE in Europe – all members of the Enough Food for Everyone IF Campaign – were among 45,000 people who gathered in Hyde Park. Saif Ahmad (CEO of MADE in Europe) said: As a Muslim campaigning and advocacy agency that engages Muslims on global poverty issues from a faith perspective we could see quite clearly how Islam compels us all to be at the forefront of such campaigns. I was very proud to see so many more Muslims there with me."
Othman Moqbel (CEO of Human Appeal) said: "Every 15 seconds, a child dies of malnutrition. The G8 leaders can end the scandal of hunger measures are taken to do something about it. It was important for us to show our support for this cause and especially for the 2 million children dying every year - something that can be avoided."
One in eight people in the world goes to bed hungry, even though there is enough food for everyone. The G8 can take three big steps towards ending hunger if they:
- Clamp down on tax havens and launch a convention on tax transparency to stop the flow of billions of pounds out of developing countries – money that could be used to end hunger
- Help poor countries make sure that everyone, especially children, have enough nutritious food to eat and support poor families to grow their own food
- Give people in developing countries more control over their land by protecting poor farmers from land grabs and using land to grow food not fuel.
- If the G8 leaders come together during the summit and take into account the demands of 45,000 people who rallied on June 8th they will end world hunger!
- Ends -
Notes to editors
Enough Food For Everyone IF is a joint coalition of over 200 UK organisations campaigning for action to eliminate the causes of hunger. There is enough food for everyone, yet one in eight people do not have enough food. This year, world leaders must tackle hunger and save millions of lives. If you want to stop the scandal, join the IF campaign at enoughfoodif.org.
Human Appeal (humanappeal.org.uk) also has a number of humanitarian projects running across other disaster and war-torn areas of the globe.