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.