AT a time of war and conflict driven by religious sectarianism afflicting many parts of world, Scotland has achieved international recognition as a “beacon of tolerance”.

European countries including France, Italy and Sweden aim to learn from Scotland’s civic society model of equality and integration following an initiative involving a wide range of organisations and six Scottish consuls.

To mark the successful project’s achievements, a Scottish Shia Islamic charity has invited leaders of Christian churches in Scotland, consuls and politicians to celebrate the end of the Holy month of Ramadan tonight.

The Eid al Fitr – feast of breaking the fast – dinner, organised by traditional Shia group The Scottish Ahlulbayt Society, will bring together members of the Christian Interfaith Group and other organisations, including the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service, Antony Nolan Trust, Alzheimer’s Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the British Army who have also thrown their weight behind the project.

The charities have been playing their part in raising awareness of health issues affecting Asian communities and the public service bodies have been tackling the problem of under-representation in public life and services and as well as equality and integration.

One of the guest speakers will be Scottish Government Chief Whip Bill Kidd, who has worked hard to bring the communities together and hosted a successful event to mark International Women’s Day earlier this year attended by over 200 people at the Scottish Parliament.

The Glasgow Anniesland SNP MSP said: “This is a brilliant initiative encompassing all that is good in our civic society. Bringing people of different religions, cultures and race together to work on issues of equality, health, public services and integration in our communities is so rewarding.”

The celebration of the project’s achievements will take place at the Village Restaurant in Tradeston in Glasgow and the main event is the VIP Eid dinner. Shabir Beg of the Ahlulbayt Society, one of the event organisers, said: “We want to deepen our fellowship and extend the hand of unity with them.”