Thursday, 29 November 2007

Recognised for providing positive image of Muslims

This is from one of the most read bloggers....

And we've saved our final few words for one of Britain's best respected and most widely recognised moderate Muslims, Mohammed Shafiq, who even as we type is actively seeking to ellict some semblence of common sense from the powers that be in Sudan.
Kudos, to you, young Mr Shafiq.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Mohammed Shafiq endorses Nick Clegg for Leader!!!

"Nick Clegg brings a whole new meaning of appealing to both conservative and labour voters; he understands the concerns of ethnic minorities and has championed the diversity cause. I believe Nick will bring the party together and move forward to many more victories. Nick Clegg has made politics exciting and for once we can dream of real change and opportunity”

Monday, 29 October 2007

Thanks for the changes Ed

A Muslim campaigner praised the government for plans to bring in faith schools into state funding.

Mohammed Shafiq from the Ramadhan Foundation in Rochdale told the Secretary of State for Children, Ed Balls, the plans, which will effect more than 120 Islamic schools in the UK, will be welcomed by the Muslim community.

Mr Shafiq went to meet ministers in London to talk about issues facing the Muslim community.
He said: "When the government is doing something right then they should be told that.

"In this case plans to introduce faith schools into state funding brackets is great news.

"Right now for many parents sending their children to a faith school is jot an option due to the fees.
"Many families have more than one children and to send them all to faith school will leave them out of pocket."

He also thanked ministers on vanishing the use of the words 'Muslim extremists' and 'Islamic terrorism.'

He said: "These words were pandering towards islamaphobia and were demonising towards Muslims and ministers told me that the government has stopped using these terms.

"I have not heard them use them in many weeks and this was something that we had been calling for."

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Disaster for Muslim mums

A SPOKESMAN for the Ramadhan Foundation has slammed plans to axe Rochdale Infirmary’s accident and emergency, maternity and children’s departments claiming it will be a potential disaster for the Muslim community.

Mohammed Shafiq accused the government of not taking into account the diverse cultural needs of the town.

He said: "We are obviously deeply distressed by this decision. This will have a massive impact on the people of Rochdale.

"Our religion states that Muslim women must give birth away from the gaze of other people. Oldham and Bury hospitals are a four or five-mile car ride away.

"If a Muslim woman was to give birth in the car on the way to the other hospitals it would be disastrous."

The new plans followed a review of the Making It Better and Healthy Futures proposals carried out by a body of experts, the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

They recommended the plans to re-organise health services across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and the High Peak, first put forward in summer 2005, be approved.

It means that Rochdale’s accident and emergency unit will be turned into an urgent care centre, with seriously injured patients being transported to the Royal Oldham, Fairfield or North Manchester General hospitals instead.

Under the proposals the Infirmary’s A and E could close within the next two years, depending on staffing.

Maternity services will be axed with eight centres of excellence being set up, the nearest being at Oldham and Manchester.

Mr Shafiq added: "We must pay tribute, however, to the hard work of all those involved in the campaign to save our hospital and we must all remember this decision when it comes to the next general election. It’s the only way now we can be heard."

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

'Mosques Failing To Address Key Issues'

There is a battle going on within Britain's Muslim community between extremists and traditionalists.

Mohammed Shafiq from the Ramadhan Foundation has written a piece for Sky News about the struggles faced in teaching the younger generation:

The Ramadhan Foundation is very clear that when discussing the role of the mosque - we should always pay tribute to the elder community.

When they arrived in the early 1960's there was no mosques or Imams and it was their hard work and sacrifices that enabled future generations to practice our faith in mosques up and down the country.

Having paid this tribute to the elder community we have to understand that the mosques in the UK are failing to address the key concerns of Young Muslims.

Enter any mosque on a Friday and you will surely see young Muslims sitting at the back talking about a host of other things whilst the Imam is preaching.

When I recently questioned some youngsters in my local mosque in Rochdale, I was told that the Imam didn't understand English and they had problems understanding Urdu.

The day after 7/7, I prayed at a mosque in Newcastle. The Imam spoke very passionately about the evil of terrorism and how Islam forbids Muslims from carrying out these murderous acts.
I was moved by his sermon but it was delivered totally in Punjabi. I remember looking around the mosque hall and seeing many youngsters engaged in their own conversations.

The Ramadhan Foundation has for many years been calling for mosques to understand that tackling the issues surrounding terrorism, extremism, cohesion, integration, Islamic values, rule of law etc can only be done in English.
The people who run the mosque have systematically failed to deliver Islamic education to young people that would equip them for the challenges of living in multi-cultural Britain, in a society where we respect each other and live peacefully together.

Speaking to many young Muslims they are desperately in need of muslim scholars and Imams that speak their language and understand the issues facing young Muslims in the United Kingdom.

Whether it is on tackling extremism, preventing terrorism or learning the basic principles of the Islamic faith, Imams must be able to communicate their message into English.

The Ramadhan Foundation accepts that young Muslims must do more to understand their mother tongue as this will keep them in touch with their cultural heritage passed from generation to generation.

So what should mosques do?

:: It should ensure that every sermon is delivered in English along with other languages for the elder community.

:: It should tackle and alert people to the evil of terrorism.

:: It should train young Muslims in running the mosques and then give them the control to run the mosques. When young Muslims see this they will be empowered to get involved more.

:: Ensure that the Mosques are open and transparent, with certified accounts and meetings where decisions are taken openly and those in responsibility are held accountable.

:: Develop a structured curriculum that addresses cohesion, integration, tolerance, respect, tackling extremism and terrorism and contemporary issues such as low educational standards, unemployment, poverty etc.

:: Establish lasting links with other faiths, schools and encourage non Muslims to visit the Mosque

:: Hold regular events in English that help youngsters channel their anger in positive ways, like the issues around double standards in UK foreign policy, illegal war in Iraq etc

:: Promote peaceful coexistence between different diverse communities

With an environment where young people can learn Islam we will be able to tackle many of the key issues facing our country, only together can we defeat terrorism.
The Ramadhan Foundation is hopeful that if mosques carry out the above the Muslim community will be in a much better position than today.

:: Mohammed Shafiq is the Ramadhan Foundation's Press Spokesman and based in Rochdale.
The Ramadhan Foundation is the UK's leading Muslim youth organisation that is working for peaceful co-existence and dialogue for all communities.

Based in Greater Manchester and working to also establish the platform for Muslim unity amongst our communities in the UK.

Monday, 23 July 2007

New approaches for overhaul of UK security

Recent terror attempts in the UK may make it easier for the new government to introduce controversial anti-terrorism measures, including extending pre-charge detention for terror suspects.
By Caroline Tosh in London for ISN Security Watch (13/07/07)

Terror attacks in London and Glasgow this month ensured a baptism of fire for Prime Minister Gordon Brown and served as a reminder that two years after 52 people were killed by explosions on London's public transport system, the UK remains a prime target for terrorism.

Two un-detonated car bombs containing petrol, gas cylinders and nails were found in separate cars in London in the early hours of 29 June. The following day and more than 480 kilometers away, a Jeep filled with gas cylinders and fuel ploughed into the check-in entrance at Glasgow Airport, exploding as it hit.

The new government has been praised for its response to the botched attacks, over which eight suspects have so far been detained, and has resisted any impulse to use this as an opportunity to push through draconian anti-terror laws.

But as the UK breathes a sigh of relief at having narrowly averted bloodshed, speculation has begun that this may make it easier for the new government to introduce controversial measures when the anti-terror bill is announced in the fall.

New Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has already suggested in the wake of the attacks that an extension to pre-charge detention for terror suspects may be on the cards.

"There may well be a case for looking very carefully at the amount of time that we are able to detain people pre-charge in order to ensure the very best opportunity to bring convictions," she told MPs in a Commons' statement on 2 July.

While Brown indicated last month at a Labour Party meeting on 3 June, before his premiership began, that he planned to seek an extension to the time a suspect can be held without charges beyond the current limit of 28 days.

Brown said he was ready to be "tough in the security measures that are necessary to prevent terrorist incidents in this country," while stressing that he would protect civil liberties with judicial oversight and parliamentary accountability.

Other measures that may also be introduced in the upcoming bill are the right to submit intercept evidence - gleaned from intercepting communications as they are transmitted via a postal service, telephone or email - in a criminal trial and to continue questioning suspects after they have been charged.

Deterrent or catalyst?The new government has promised to seek cross-party support and consult Muslim representatives over new legislation in what has been interpreted as a more consensual approach to terrorism.

In the past, proposals to extend pre-charge detention have met with violent opposition, from both politicians and human rights groups.

Tony Blair's government suffered its first Commons defeat in 2005 when MPs voted against proposals to increase pre-charge detention from 14 days to three months, and had to settle for a compromise of 28 days.

But in the days following the recent attacks, Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, the British government's independent reviewer of terror laws, suggested an extension may be necessary to help tackle the ongoing terror threat.

In an interview on the BBC program HardTalk on 5 July, he suggested that four weeks' pre-charge detention may not be long enough in certain terror situations, adding that there may be cases "where computers are so well encoded that it's not possible to break into them within 28 days."

But Jen Corlew of the human rights group Liberty told ISN Security Watch that holding a suspect for longer than 28 days without charge was classified as "internment."

She warns that such a measure could end up being counterproductive, giving the example of the situation in Northern Ireland, where use of internment became - in the words of former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Lord Tom King - the IRA's "greatest recruiting sergeant."

"The lesson that we've [learned] from Northern Ireland is that internment can actually end up helping terrorist recruiters because people feel there's been an injustice," Corlew said.

She supports other proposals being considered to give greater powers to police and prosecutors - with precautions in place - to allow them a chance to gather more evidence so that suspects can be charged and prosecuted, rather than just being held for a long period of time.

Liberty also welcomes Brown's intention to call for a Privy Council review on the use of intercept evidence in court - a measure it has been suggesting for years - but one which the UK's security services are thought to oppose, fearing it will reveal their methods.

Checks and balancesDr Daniel Moeckli, of the School of Law at the University of Nottingham, is unconvinced that the police want or need powers to extend pre-charge detention. He suggests that such a proposal could be interpreted as a political move to make the authorities appear to be tough on terrorism.

"As far as I understand there hasn't been a single case where police would have thought it necessary to detain someone for longer than 28 days," he said.

Like Corlew, Moeckli says it is important to look at lessons learned from counterterrorism measures applied in the past.

"From Northern Ireland, we know that internment had negative consequences, as people became more radicalized in prison and there was actually a rise in violence after internment was introduced," he said.

He agrees that allowing intercept evidence to be submitted in court is a viable alternative to extended pre-charge detention and is something all other European countries except Ireland allow.
But Dr Paul Cornish, head of the International Security Programme at UK-based foreign policy think tank Chatham House says the submission of intercept evidence should be handled carefully.

"If there are good reasons for national security not to reveal this information or evidence in court, and then as a result [of revealing it] we find ourselves in a less secure position, then clearly we've got to do something to fix that," he said.

Cornish is sympathetic to proposals to extend pre-charge detention - provided this is accompanied with proper checks and balances, such as an oversight committee or an annual review.
"When I talk to people in the police [...] the sense I get is not that the 90-day [proposal] is regarded as a repressive measure in any sense. They argue that they simply need enough time," he said.
He says it is understandable that police would like longer than 28 days to gather evidence in terror cases, where they may be investigating hugely complex networks.

But Dr Brian Brivati, professor of contemporary history at Kingston University, says that before rushing to introduce any anti-terror measures, it is important to establish first if they will actually help combat terrorism.

"There's kind of a presumption that greater powers, more intrusive powers will help. Has that been proven? Is it proven that the police are asking for these measures?" he asked.

Brivati told ISN Security Watch that it was not clear whether extended pre-charge detention "will make any difference to our ability to stop terror attacks."

"It looks to me like a form of selective internment is where [the authorities are] heading, he said.
He believes introducing more restrictive measures not only means breaching human rights legislation, but also risks further alienating people who may then become more receptive to recruitment into radical groups.

Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation is also concerned that proposals to extend pre-charge detention may be revived.

"There has been no evidence available that the current 28 days is insufficient, so I would have some difficulty supporting 90-day detention on the basis that people have a right to due process, legal representation, and to know if they're being charged," he told ISN Security Watch.

Shafiq notes with disappointment that the last government failed to implement most of the recommendations of a taskforce set up to tackle extremism in the aftermath of the 7 July London bombings.

The Brown government has an opportunity to set a new course in tackling terrorism, he said, adding that he would wait for the bill to be formally announced before passing judgment.

"It's early days for this government and the new prime minister. We'll have to wait to assess whether he's been good or not," he said. "We've got to see a better response from the government."

Caroline Tosh is a London-based correspondent for ISN Security Watch and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

UK terror threat never greater: Security Minister

Transcript of ABC Australian Radio report from the Regents APrk Mosque where Muslim leaders gathered to deal with the threat of terroris
AM - Monday, 9 July , 2007 08:07:44

Reporter: Jane Hutcheon

TONY EASTLEY: As British police continue to question five suspects in connection with botched terrorist attacks in Britain, the UK's new Security Minister has warned that the threat against the UK has never been greater. The government has hired former Navy chief, Sir Alan West, who left the force six months ago, to work out how to respond to the new challenges from terrorism. Sir Alan admits that dealing with extremism will be a difficult and drawn out process. Here's Europe Correspondent Jane Hutcheon.
JANE HUTCHEON: Sir Alan West paints a worrying picture of Britain. He said the current threat from terrorism was greater now than six months ago when the former head of the intelligence agency MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, warned her office was tracking 30 terror plots and 200 networks totalling more than 1,600 individuals.As the second anniversary of the July the 7th bombings passed, Sir Alan, who has been in the job for a fortnight, spoke of a new reality and urged Britons to become "dobbers" or "snitches" to help authorities safeguard the country. He believes the task ahead is daunting.
ALAN WEST: A lot of people outside the country in the higher echelons of some of these jihadists, I think are influencing our young men and young women in some parts of our society, and we need to think about how we can change that.
JANE HUTCHEON: His comments came after the Muslim Council of Britain held a conference at London's Central Mosque to discuss a response to the threat of terrorism. The MCB claims to represent 60 per cent of British Muslims, but a fracas erupted when conference organisers locked the door on a group of angry young men.(sound of people arguing)Abu Faruk, who's 22, has a long beard and is dressed in battle fatigues.(to Abu Faruk) Are you being allowed in?
ABU FARUK: No, we're being refused entry. Why? Because they're saying it's for invitees only.
JANE HUTCHEON: And which group are you from?
ABU FARUK: We're not from a group, we're just Muslims come together because my Lord tells me to (inaudible) the good from the evil. Because my Lord tells me that even if you help them, even you're allied with them, the Jews and the Christians, they'll never ever be happy with you.
JANE HUTCHEON: The young radicals are believed to be members of the disbanded extremist group al-Muhajiroun affiliated to Lebanon-based Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed. He is barred from entering Britain.The young men are all British-born, devout Muslims and well-educated. They say the Muslim Council are "lackies" and "bootlickers" to the British Government. These men are incensed by Muslim deaths at the hands of coalition forces, and believe that provides the motivation for attacks such as the attempted bombings in London and Glasgow.
VOX POP 1: Where's cause in the resentment? Where's cause in the motivation? You don't think a person wakes up in the morning, and just goes, "I know, I'll go kill innocent people today for a laugh". Where does it come from?
JANE HUTCHEON: Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadan Foundation was invited to attend the conference. He believes disaffected Muslims need to be heard.
MOHAMMEND SHAFIQ: These young people are totally disenfranchised, and what these people are talking about is they want their voice to be heard. And actually I agree with them. I totally disagree with what they're preaching.
JANE HUTCHEON: What are they preaching?
MOHAMMEND SHAFIQ: Well, they're preaching a lot of, you know, things that… there isn't extremism in this country, that there isn't a problem with terrorism. We all know there is a problem with terrorism, where people are killing them, planting bombs on themselves trying to blow up airports and tube trains. We have a problem, we have to deal with it.
JANE HUTCHEON: In the aftermath of the latest attempted bombings, the Muslim Council of Britain is keen to show solidarity with the security establishment. But as Britain's new Security Minister has acknowledged, tackling fringe elements will be a long, hard struggle. In London, this is Jane Hutcheson for AM.

Friday, 29 June 2007


Published: 29/06/2007 17:30

The Ramadhan Foundation expresses its worry over the car bomb found in Central London today. We are fortunate that the car bomb was made safe and that there were no casualties.
We pay tribute to the Police for their hard work in protecting our country, their dedication and commitment to public safety is a beacon for many others to follow. The police are carrying out an important role in protecting our nation.

We urge the British people to remain calm and vigilant.

Mr Mohammed Shafiq, Press Spokesman comments:

“On behalf of the Ramadhan Foundation we express our thanks to the Police for disabling today’s car bomb, it is times like this we realise the hard work the police do to protect our safety.

I would urge the British people to remain calm and vigilant to any further potential devices.
Only together can we work to stop this threat”
Notes for editors

The Ramadhan Foundation is the UK's leading Muslim youth organisation that is working for peaceful co-existence and dialogue for all communities. Based in Greater Manchester and working to also create the platform for Muslim unity amongst our communities in the UK.

For further information contact:
Mr. Mohammed Shafiq
Press Spokesman

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Action urged over honour killings

ITN - Tuesday, June 12 06:42 am

More should be to be done to stop women becoming victims of so-called honour crimes, campaigners have said. They spoke out following the conviction of Mahmod Mahmod over the murder of his daughter Banaz.

Her uncle Ari Mahmod was also found guilty of murder after a trial at the Old Bailey. Banaz was strangled with a bootlace and then buried in a suitcase after falling in love with a man her family did not approve of.

Campaign group the Southall Black Sisters has called for a "robust approach" in tackling so-called honour killings and demanded an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the case.

Mohammed Shafiq, spokesman for the Ramadhan Foundation, spoke of the group's horror at the case. He said: "We wish to make clear that the illegal practice of forced marriages and honour killings are not from Islam and Islam specifically condemns and forbids them.

"We offer our deepest sympathies to the victim's family and welcome the verdict. "The Ramadhan Foundation today calls on all Mosques, Imams and Muslim organisations to speak up and confront these issues; only with this essential debate can we send the message that this can never be tolerated.

"We will shortly be publishing expert guidance on why Islam forbids this behaviour, how we confront those that practise these issues and we can eradicate them."

It has also emerged that a number of police officers are facing an internal disciplinary investigation over the case amid claims by fellow officers that Banaz would still be alive if she had done her job properly.

Banaz told police she feared for her life four times before she disappeared and even gave them a list of three men she thought would murder her. One of the men she named later admitted to his part in the crime while the other two have fled the country.

During the trial, Detective Inspector Caroline Goode, who led the investigation into Banaz's death, said she had spoken to officers about "mistakes" in dealing with her.

Friday, 8 June 2007

No matter what people do, they will never be able to change Islam!!!!

Over the past few weeks we have watched UK Government Ministers talked about the moderate version of Islam, how these groups should stand up and speak and change Islam. We have never seen Islam changing because Allah has protected the Deen and perserved the faith. No matter what humans may do or try they will ultimately fail as Allah is the best of planners.

This does not mean we in the Muslim community do not have any problems, we have an issue with a very small minority of people who wish to kill innocent people indiscrimnately, they claim to be Muslims but the Scholars are clear that Islam does not sanction the killing of innocent people. We have an Islamic duty to take them on and defeat their views and help them reform because how can our faith be hijacked in this way.

I am proud that the work I have contributed to the debate is welcomed by all sides as principled, honest and frank about the challenges we face. As British citizens we have a duty to ensure that we live by the rule of law and that we celebrate our achievements and contributions to British society either politically, socially, economically etc.

Having said this we have seen a supposely Centre Left Government take away individual civil liberties that took hundreds of years to get and many lives were lost fighting for them. The Government has passed legislation that takes away presumption of innocence and the right to a fair and open trial, we have seen over 22, 000 stop and searches done to minority communities under the Anti Terror laws in London, only 23 arrests, we have seen thousands of innocent people arrested, humilated, discrimanated and tarnished without a single apology. This is no way to defeat terrorism.

The biggest recruiting sargeant for terrorists is the double standards in UK foreign policy, the illegal war in Iraq, the blind support for Israeli aggresision against Palestinians and Lebanonese, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Garib scandal, when we see Muslims lands occupied and our people oppressed people go to the extreme. This is not my view but the view of Sir Michael Jay, Former Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Office who said that by UK going into an illegal war in Iraq the UK was at an increased risk of terrorism.

I have been consistent in my opposition to terrorism and extremism and have also been consistent in opposing the Government on the many issues as described above, I will continue this work regardless.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Britain to emphasise Islamic studies

LONDON (Reuters) - The government announced a new emphasis on Islamic studies on Monday in an attempt to offset fears of extremism but was only able to come up with an extra one million pounds ($2 million) to fund the initiative.

The relatively small boost to funding follows a review of university Islamic studies courses that found that curriculums were frequently out of date or focused on narrow interpretations of Islam.

It also comes amid increasing tension between Britain and its 1.7 million-strong Muslim community, particularly since the July 7, 2005, suicide attacks by young Muslims on London's transport system that killed 52 people.

The subject will now be designated as "strategically important", with an emphasis placed on how and by whom it is taught, and a wider variety of students, including more Muslims, encouraged to study it.

"This would in turn contribute to preventing violent extremism in the name of Islam and improving community cohesion," the department for education said in a statement.
"It is important that the study of Islamic studies within higher education is up to date and focuses on relevant issues."

The initiative follows a government commissioned report which found that Islamic studies teaching at degree level often concentrated too much on a Middle Eastern focus, while ignoring the realities of Islam in modern Britain.

Speaking at an International Conference on Islam and Muslims in London, Prime Minister Tony Blair referred to the need for increased emphasis on Islamic studies, saying the "true voice of Islam" needed to be heard.

"There is an interest and appetite across all sections of society to know more about Islam in all its diversity," Blair said. "This is not, repeat not, about equating interest in Islam with anxiety over extremism. But it explains, in part, the desire to learn about what motivates our Muslim communities."

University administrators welcomed the government's initiative while cautioning that any changes to the curriculum should ensure that "critical intellectual rigour" remains.

"It is important that all academic disciplines follow the normal quality procedures," said Drummond Bone, the president of Universities UK, a vice-chancellors' organisation.

The Ramadan Foundation, a non-politically affiliated Muslim youth organisation, also cautiously welcomed the initiative and Blair's speech, but warned that words would not be enough.

"The government's very good at announcing things... but when it comes to substance there's often not much there," said Mohammed Shafiq, a spokesman for the group.

"You have to judge the prime minister on his record, and the fact is his government has introduced lots of legislation that discriminates against Muslims. What he's done in Iraq and Afghanistan has contributed to terrorism."
(Additional reporting by Adrian Croft)

Monday, 28 May 2007

Speaking for Muslims - World Media Coverage

This is below all the media outlets I have been quoted in over the past day about the UK Government's attempts to introduce Stop and Question

(Reuters, UK, World News Australia, National Post, Canada, Gulf Daily News, Bahrain, Manawatu Standard, New Zealand, The Nelson Mail, New Zealand, Waikato Times, New Zealand, The Age, Australia, The Timaru Herald, New Zealand, Marlborough Express, New Zealand, The Dominion Post, New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand, Reuters India, India, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, The Age, Australia, Reuters AlertNet, UK, ABC Online, Australia, Brisbane Times, Australia, The West Australian, Australia, Malaysia Star, Malaysia, Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia,, Australia, The Australian, Australia,, New Zealand, Sunday, Australia, Courier Mail, Australia, Daily Telegraph, Australia, Advertiser Adelaide, Australia,, Croatia, Yahoo News, UK, EU Politics Today, Brussels )

Mohammed Shafiq, spokesman for the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim youth organisation set up to counter extremists, voiced concern it would be mainly minority communities that
would be stopped and questioned under the proposed new powers.

"We feel that the government's proposals are going to alienate the Muslim community further," he told Reuters.

Blair sparks row with anti-terror powers bid

By Adrian Croft

LONDON (Reuters) - Civil rights and community groups criticised a proposal by Prime Minister Tony Blair on Sunday to give police broad powers to stop and question people as part of a new anti-terrorism law.
Critics said the proposed measure risked alienating the Muslim community whose support the government needed to combat militants and an opposition politician said Blair was pushing for the powers of a police state.

An interior ministry spokeswoman said the government was looking at including the "stop and question" power in new anti-terrorism legislation.
It would enable police to question people about who they are, where they have been and where they were going, according to the Sunday Times newspaper.
Plans for the measure emerged as Blair, who is due to resign in a month, attacked as a "dangerous misjudgement" Britain's determination to defend civil liberties rather than take tougher action to counter extremists.

"We have chosen as a society to put the civil liberties of the suspect, even if a foreign national, first. I happen to believe this is misguided and wrong," he wrote in the Sunday Times.
Police Minister Tony McNulty said the government would consult widely on its proposals before introducing new legislation in October or November -- by which time Blair will have handed over power to finance minister Gordon Brown.

Mohammed Shafiq, spokesman for the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim youth organisation set up to counter extremists, voiced concern it would be mainly minority communities that would be stopped and questioned under the proposed new powers.
"We feel that the government's proposals are going to alienate the Muslim community further," he told Reuters.


Doug Jewell, of civil rights group Liberty, told the BBC the measure was unnecessary and would be counter-productive.

One of Blair's own ministers, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain, urged caution on new anti-terrorism powers.

"We've got to be very careful that we don't create circumstances that are the domestic equivalent of Guantanamo Bay," he told the BBC, referring to the U.S. prison camp for terrorism suspects on Cuba.

Nick Clegg, of the Liberal Democrats, accused Blair and interior minister John Reid of "pushing for the powers of a police state".

Blair's government passed tough anti-terrorism measures after the September 2001 attacks on U.S. cities and again after four British Muslim suicide bombers killed 52 people on London's transport network in July 2005.

Some measures Blair wanted -- such as a police power to hold terrorism suspects for up to 90 days without charge -- have been blocked by parliament or the courts.
Last week, the government was embarrassed when three men suspected of planning attacks on British or U.S. troops abroad absconded.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Asbos for terror suspects ‘shock’ Mohammed Shafiq interview

A CAMPAIGNING Muslim youth organisation has attacked the government’s suggestion of giving Asbos to people they suspect are involved in terrorism.
The Rochdale-based Ramadhan Foundation said they were "appaled" following the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith's announcement for plans to use special police and legal teams to target those preaching hate, using anti-social behaviour orders where they cannot be prosecuted.
He said the idea follows the successful use of Asbos to stop animal rights extremists from harassing the public.
Spokesperson for the Foundation, Mohammed Shafiq said: "The fact that this is coming from Lord Goldsmith - the Attorney General - whose role is to ensure that the process of law is being carried out and that the due process reaches its conclusion is appaling.
"This proposal smacks against the right to a free and fair trial and goes against many principles of justice gathered over hundreds of years.
"Those that are suspected of involvement in terrorism and extremism should and must be put on trial and the evidence presented, if they are found guilty, so be it.”

Friday, 11 May 2007

This is a short webcast by Mohammed Shafiq, Press Spokesman about the Government's refusal to hold a full and public inquiry into the 7/7 attacks, for further information
Your feedback is essential, email at

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Race hate campaign features swastika stickers

Police have launched an investigation over claims that a neo-nazi gang has launched a campaign of hate in Shawclough.It comes after the Observer was alerted to several fluorescent stickers said to originate from extremist group Combat 18 were posted on lampposts across Heights Lane. Depicting a masked man holding a gun and a swastika logo, the notices warn that the group which has links to violence and arson attacks is ‘in the area’.Ward Councillor Elwyn Watkins visited the alleged crime scene after he was notified by a concerned friend, who had swiftly removed a number of the offensive stickers.He said: “This is a nice area where everyone gets on with everyone. We do not want these racist thugs here. While areas like Burnley and Oldham have been subject to race riots, Rochdale has not. We want it to stay that way.”He added: “I have heard of other cases where stickers such as these have been removed only to find razorblades tucked away underneath. I would urge anyone who sees one of these stickers not to remove them but contact the council’s environmental management department.”Muslim campaigners at the Ramadhan Foundation are also calling for a zero-tolerance approach. Spokesman Mohammed Shafiq said: “We are absolutely appalled by this sort of behaviour. The vast majority of people will not tolerate will not tolerate these thugs, bigots and criminals in Rochdale. I urge the public to stay calm.” The stickers will now be examined by forensic experts, while Rochdale north Inspector Stuart Hey is also asking anyone with information to come forward by calling 0161 856 8523. He said: “We are taking this matter very seriously.”

Wednesday, 18 April 2007


During the summer of 2006 Channel 4 spent some time with Mohammed Shafiq, Press Spokesman and filmed the Ramadhan Foundation at a special event titled "Tackling extremism".

This programme will be broadcasted this Monday 23rd April 2007 at 10.00pm on More4, Sky and Virgin media channels 142 and on Freeview Channel 13.

More4 Premiere: Filmed in the summer of 2006 - during and after the World Cup - Peter Gordon's insightful and revealing documentary Looking for England explores the notion of 'Britishness' through a series of contributions from across the UK. Set against English townscapes and landscapes, it's a patchwork quilt of attitudes, opinions and reflections on the notion of modern 'Englishness', as well as the struggle for some to differentiate between Englishness and Britishness.

There are those whose families have lived here for many generations, and those who are the first generation to be born here, as well as the very new citizen. Young British Asian businessmen talk about the struggle between traditional family and religious values and everyday life in a very mixed society; the father of a soldier killed in Iraq talks eloquently of his son's patriotism and his own love of the national flag, whilst lamenting an unnecessary war in which those who have died will soon be forgotten. An over-arching desire to belong, an appreciation of democracy and freedom, and an undercurrent of fear for the future and the will to make it all work unites these disparate voices in Gordon's Looking for England . Dir: Peter Gordon; Prod Co: Century Films Ltd

Mr. Mohammed Shafiq, Press Spokesman comments:

“The Ramadhan Foundation was honoured to take part in this programme at a time when there is an important debate about integration and cohesion going on in this country. Our participation shows the positive contribution Muslims are making in the UK.

Whilst it is easy for politicians to demonise a whole community to score cheap political points, the Ramadhan Foundation is seriously working in grassroots communities to tackle the issues that face our diverse communities, we hope the Government sits up and listen to our thoughts and contributions”

The Ramadhan Foundation is the UK's leading Muslim youth organisation that is working for peaceful co-existence and dialogue for all communities. Based in Greater Manchester and working to also create the platform for Muslim unity amongst our communities in the UK.

Friday, 16 February 2007

Attending War crimes Conference in Malaysia

Last week I had the honour of being part of the UK delegation lead by the Ramadhan Foundation to the international Conference organised by the Perdan Global Peace organisation titled "Expose war crimes and Criminalise war", it was hosted by Tun Dr Mohamad Mahathir, 4th Prime Ministerof Malaysia at the Putra World Trace Centre, Kuala Lumpur. It was addressed by renowed international speakers from across the world with personal testimony from victims of war crimes - from Jenin in Palestine to Fallujah in Iraq, taking in Lebanon and Afghanistan.
The main aim of the Conference was to criminalise war and bring those who carried war crimes to justice, it saw a creation of a war crimes tribunal to trial George Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard and the other cronies who are responsible for the killings of many thousands of innocent people.

I was amazed by the humbleness of the Malaysian people, their hospitality and warmth. There commitment to diversity and multi culturalism is evident in the fact all religious holidays for all faiths Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist are celebrated as public holidays – can you imagine it being like that in the West!!!

(Tun Dr Mohamad Mahathir, Former PM)
Having travelled around the world apart from the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, this is the next best place. The balance of religion and secular is self evident in the buildings and financial companies based there

I would recommend the city to all, 2007 is their 50th anniversary of their independence and also Visit Malaysia 2007

I am now off to London to speak at the United against Fascism Conference, this conference will set out how to deal with the BNP and fascism, will report back on progress

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Saddam Execution

Prescott attacks 'deplorable' images of Saddam execution (The Independent)

By Andy McSmith

Published: 03 January 2007
An Iraqi prosecutor revealed yesterday that he almost halted the execution of Saddam Hussein because of the behaviour of witnesses who were taunting the condemned man. The Iraqi government announced an inquiry into chaotic scenes at the execution, which the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, condemned as "deplorable".

Munqith al-Faroon, one of the prosecutors in the trial, said two officials who were present at the execution had broken the rules by bringing their mobile phones, which were used to record the event. The leaked footage of the former dictator's final moments has provoked a backlash among Sunni Arabs, who see the execution as an act of sectarian revenge by Iraq's Shia-dominated government.

Mr Faroon said he threatened to leave unless the taunting of Saddam stopped. "They knew that if I left, the execution could not go ahead," he told the Associated Press news agency. Under Iraqi law a prosecution observer must be present.

Mr Prescott avoided any direct criticism of the Iraqi government, which has been embarrassed by the reaction to the recording of the execution. Mr Prescott's comments appeared to reflect growing concern in British government circles about the impact of Saddam's final, public humiliation on Iraq's disaffected Sunni minority.

Up to now, ministers have confined themselves to routine statements that Britain opposes the death penalty, while insisting that it was right that the former dictator should be put on trial. But, Mr Prescott insisted, the secret filming of Saddam's last minutes should be condemned "whatever your views about capital punishment".

"I think the manner was quite deplorable really," Mr Prescott told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "I don't think one can endorse in any way that, whatever your views about capital punishment. Frankly, to get the kind of recorded messages coming out is totally unacceptable and I think whoever is involved and responsible for it should be ashamed of themselves."

The Government's previous reluctance to comment on the circumstances of the execution angered Labour MPs who opposed the war. The former defence minister, Peter Kilfoyle, condemned Tony Blair's silence on the issue as "yet another error in a long catalogue" on Iraq.

A leading member of the largest Sunni parliamentary bloc said the images damaged Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's attempts at national reconciliation. Saleem al-Jibouri of the Iraqi Accordance Front told Reuters: "The big question is how serious is the government in calling for national reconciliation."

An official of Iraq's Justice Ministry said that some guards appeared to have breached instructions not to bring mobile phones or cameras. He added: "The Iraqi government is going to have an investigation into what happened. This operation should be done with the highest standards of discipline and with respect for the condemned man, both when he's alive and once he's dead. Anything that did not meet those standards should be accounted for." An adviser to Mr Maliki added: "There were a few guards who shouted slogans that were inappropriate and that's now the subject of a government investigation."