At first glance of the invite I was excited, finally I might be able to get a glimpse of these Londoners that I'd heard so much about, I started day dreaming of pearly kings and queens.....all set against the backdrop of the iconic Trafalgar Square, who could resist, then I started to read the invite further "Londoner... Muslim... celebrate Eid....?
Undeterred I read on, there was "the promise of experiencing live acts and entertainment" so I asked my friend if she wanted to go, "why would I want to go to a Muslim festival"? She wailed....
The next day the sun was shining as we both walked up Whitehall towards Trafalgar Square, with some trepidation we entered the Square which was full with about 1,000 Muslims, all their attention was directed towards a stage, where there was a Muslim man dressed in clothes we in the west would associate with an Islamist, he was talking about Allah and how much he loves us, this was being projected onto a giant screen to the left of him, he commented on the "rainbow audience", next there was a singer and dancers, the dancers were moving to a choreographed routine, I became aware that not one Muslim was dancing to the music, I know dancing is considered un-Islamic but I felt that it was a bit odd, maybe the Muslim audience just felt too reserved to dance.
I wanted to capture the experience so I decided to head for the National Gallery, which is home to famous painters like Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Ingres and Raphael, I left my friend sitting at the water fountain as i climbed to the top of the stairs i was approached by two Chinese tourists who asked me to take their photograph, which I duly obliged, God knows what they thought of the scene below, it looked more like a scene from Iran rather than London. I took some pictures of the festival below looking directly down to the surreal scene before me.
I made my way down to meet my friend again, we went to the "souk" which we noticed were selling items from China, we quickly moved on, there was places to eat but we declined, we decided to leave before the festival ended to escape the worst of the traffic, we made our way down Whitehall again.
I wonder if Boris Johnson would consider letting the Christians use Trafalgar Square for a Christian festival like Christmas?
Unfortunately I think we all know the answer to that!