Matthew was pleased to attend the ʿĪsā ibn Maryam celebration and commemoration of Muhammad Ali Jinnah at the Pakistan High Commission in London. Speeches were given by His Excellency the High Commissioner of Pakistan Mr Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon and the Bishop of London Sarah Mullally.
In the Islamic faith, ʿĪsā ibn Maryam ( عيسى بن مريم) means Jesus, son of Mary, who is believed to have been a prophet and a messenger of God. The event was essentially a celebration of the birth of Jesus, celebrated by Christmas carols sung in both English and Urdu.
Matthew said: “One thing which struck me at the celebration was the reverence Islam holds for the man the Christian community call Jesus. It reinforced to me the close links between our religions. This emerged during the recent election campaign when my work on the issue of faith schools, protection of halal/shechita and the availability of an out-of-hours coroners service in North London were all issues shared between communities in Hendon.”