A fire service chief has slammed those abusing non-Muslim staff for fasting during the month of Ramadan, as part of a community campaign.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue teams posted an image on social media saying they were supporting the ‘I am not a Muslim but I will fast for one day’.

The campaign reaches out to non-Muslims and invites them to fast for just one day in solidarity with their Muslim colleagues.

A number of local groups including members of the council and police have joined in the campaign over the years, which is led by charity One Voice.

However, the post attracted a range of nasty and Islamophobic comments, prompting a senior fire officer to speak out against those who had abused staff for simply fasting for a day.

Chief fire officer for Lancashire, Justin Johnston said: “In Lancashire FRS we connect with our communities and seek to share a little in their celebrations. It increases our bonds and improves our cultural understanding so we can provide the best possible prevention, community safety, youth engagement and ultimately response. 

Lancashire Telegraph:

“This has included all the major religions and links strongly to our Employee Voice groups that also represent our communities and our workforce. 

“We extend warm wishes to communities as they celebrate. I was disappointed to see my staff who broke fast with food at an Iftar abused on social media. 

“We have done this for a number of years and I have personally joined in at Ramadan, Diwali and Jewish and Christian church events. We need tolerance, togetherness and kindness. I am proud of my staff.”

Faz Patel, who works for the fire service, also posted: “Appreciating and proud of colleagues fasting for a day and participating in an initiative.

“Lovely to see various initiatives within our workforce, uniting and appreciating communities we serve. Together, we're building a vibrant and inclusive workplace.”

The month of Ramadan began on March 11 and during the month Muslims fast from dawn till dusk. This year the fast lasts until 6.30pm.