'Muslims contribute £31bn to the UK economy!' Furious row breaks out between guests over Ramadan lights over Easter - 'it's about religious neutrality!'

'Muslims contribute £31bn to the UK economy!' Furious row breaks out between guests over Ramadan lights over Easter - 'it's about religious neutrality!'

WATCH NOW: Fiery row over London's Ramadan lights

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 29/03/2024

- 09:54

Updated: 29/03/2024

- 12:28

It is the second time the Muslim celebration has been marked with lights in London

Ramadan lights on display across central London over the Easter weekend has sparked a fiery on-air row, as broadcasters Fahima Mahomed and Khadija Khan aired their views on the capital's celebrations.

The lights display runs between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.

Fahima Mahomed argued that the display shows "inclusivity" in London for all faiths and religious celebrations, and demonstrates the cities "integration".

Mahomed stated that the lights are not "deliberately trying to overtake anything", as Ramadan traditionally "follows the lunar calendar", and "just so happens to coincide with Easter".

Ramadan light display in London

London's West End has displayed lights in the capital to celebrate Ramadan


Khadija Khan was in disagreement with Mahomed and said the displays are an "excessive and overzealous display of a particular religion".

Khan added that there was "no need" to display the lights for a second time, noting that it has "already been done in the past" and it is "overriding a very subtle British way to celebrate religious belief in a social discourse".

Khan fumed: "It's very dangerous when you are prioritising or pushing one particular religion or belief in the public domain because that generates resentment among other beliefs."

Mahomed was outraged by Khan's remarks, hitting back: "It doesn't generate resentment! The UK operates under a capitalistic economic system, and at the end of the day, it promotes businesses.

Fahima Mahomed and Khadija Khan

Fahima Mahomed argued that Muslims contribute '£31billion to the UK economy'

GB News

"This was actually funded by the Aziz Foundation, who is a rich businessman - there was no opposition to it. Only 30 per cent of the UK actually claims to be Christians - the problem is, why are they not coming forward, putting their money forward, and putting their faith forward?"


Khan was furious as she hit back, noting the recent backlash to a religious Ramadan message displayed on the departure boards at King's Cross Station: "There is a crystal clear message from the British public that they don't want to see any particular religion dictating their day to day lives, telling them they are sinners when they are getting on the train."

Mahomed responded: "No one is dictating - when we have Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, Diwali, all of these things are all there. It's all part of multiculturalism and diversity and inclusivity and integration.

"There's never a problem there, only when it comes to Muslims, then there seems to be an outrage by certain individuals."

GB News host Stephen Dixon attempted to diffuse the row, arguing that "with Easter and some of the Jewish celebrations, what you don't see is anything as bright and vibrant and as public as this".

Fahima Mahomed and Khadija Khan

Khadija Khan argued that the lights are 'overriding the subtle British way of celebrating religious events'

GB News

Mahomed immediately replied: "Well whose fault is that?", to which Stephen responded "that's a valid thing to say".

Mahomed fumed: "Muslims contribute £31billion to the UK economy! And it is about that to a certain extent, because like I said, we operate on a capitalistic system."

Khan argued in response: "It's not about money! It's about religious neutrality, that is very much part of the British fabric, and we need to appreciate it. There is no need to push one particular religion."

A spokesman for Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "Sadiq is proud that as Mayor he’s stood up for Londoners of all faiths, taking part in a host of festivals and celebrations, including around Easter. He’s attended churches around both Christmas and Easter, while visiting church-run foodbanks.

"The Mayor’s office continue to help facilitate the world-famous staging of the Passion of Christ in Trafalgar Square, which attracts thousands of people every year.

"Sadiq is immensely grateful for the hand of friendship offered to him by Christian friends and neighbours. This Sunday, Sadiq looks forward to joining a local church congregation as they celebrate Easter."

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