Christmas and Id-al-Fitr

We celebrated Christmas 2013 with Humphrey on the Atlantic coast in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.  Reflecting on his life spanning Islam and Christianity, one of his early photos caught our attention: the Father Christmas float used at the lantern festival on the eve of Id-al-Fitr (the end of Ramadan) in another Atlantic country – in Freetown, Sierra Leone, January 12th, 1967.

Religious tolerance has been a hallmark of Humphrey’s view of life. He has engaged with so many different Christian denominations in his life (spirituality) and in his research (Africa). While his academic career developed his focus on Islam south of the Sahara, his personal life drew him to become a Quaker and later to be ordained in the Church in Wales. And one of his earliest articles was on religious toleration among Muslim groups in West Africa, published in Patterns of Prejudice, a journal of the Institute of Jewish Affairs. (posted by Thomas and Julie)

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2 thoughts on “Christmas and Id-al-Fitr”

  1. Lovely to see this picture. It reminds me of the evening 49 years ago in Freetown when Helga and Humphrey, an American couple and I went down to Freetown in the evening to take part in the festivities. The next morning a large group of people were together in the park to pray.

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