The Prince of Wales visited Islamic Relief in recognition of its humanitarian aid work in Afghanistan. The visit, which was requested by Prince Charles, reflects the growing recognition of Islamic Relief as an international humanitarian organisation.
The event was attended by community representatives, including Mahmud Al-Rashid from the Muslim Council of Britain, and by the national press. During his visit Prince Charles highlighted the "wonderful work being done by Islamic Relief to alleviate the terrible suffering of the refugees in Afghanistan."
The prince was able to hear a first hand account of the devastating Afghanistan crisis from Sakandar Ali, IR's Afghanistan Country director. Mr Ali explained how IR was organising refugee camps and massive food distribution. "The ordinary man in Afghanistan wants nothing more than daily bread for his children" said Mr Ali.
Prince Charles' visit came close after the events of September 11th and he took the opportunity to stress the importance of combating "the language of hate and division" by "building bridges of understanding between communities and faiths". He emphasised a need to focus on our shared humanity saying, "violence and extremism are driven by ignorance and fear and a sheer inability to acknowledge our common humanity, the deeper spiritual links which unite all mankind."
He went on to praise Islamic Relief for its close relationship with the British Government, and other charities with whom it works to overcome poverty and provide assistance to those in need. Finally, the prince pledged his support by making a personal donation to Islamic Relief's Afghanistan Appeal.