Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Mohammed Shafiq on Canadian TV on Gaza genocide

***Breaking News ***

Watch Mohammed Shafiq on Canadian TV – CTV Newnet on the Gaza crisis, click below


***Breaking News ***

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Gaza under attack by war criminals!!!

I strongly condemns the air strikes on Gaza by Israeli war planes, as there can be no justification for terrorism equally there can be no justification for this collective punishment of innocent children, women and people of Gaza.

These attacks are war crimes according to international law and its time for the international community to take action. Their continued support and permission for Israel just leads to more resentment and realisation that there is one law for the West and another for Muslims.

I am saddened that once again the British Government has justified the attacks and more or less given Israel permission to carry on, clearly now is the time for the UK to stand for the sanctity of human life. Biased one sided statements will alienate British Muslims further and do nothing to encourage confidence in this country.

It is now clear that the Israeli attacks are war crimes and its time for the unmoral and Nazi like regime in Israel to be held responsible. How can they justify killing hundreds of innocent people in this disgusting way.

I stand with the Palestinian people in Gaza during these difficult and dark days, their struggle against these war crimes will not end until their lives are as sacred as Western lives.

I am however disappointed by the biased statement issued by the FCO, once again they give Israel the right to break international law and kill innocent people, where is the justness that this discredited Government promised on foreign policy.

It is time for real action.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Disgust At 'Lego' Terrorist Toys

The toy mini-figures, made by American Will Chapman, includes a masked terrorist bandit with an assault rifle, grenade launcher and belt of explosives.

Shocked by the playthings, British Muslim organisation the Ramadhan Foundation has branded the figurines "absolutely disgusting".

Chief executive Mohammed Shafiq said the figures were "glorifying terrorism".

He said: "I don't think there's any difference between someone that shouts hatred through a megaphone and someone that creates a doll that glorifies terrorists.

It belittles the pain the families of victims of terror have gone through.Ramadhan Foundation chief executive Mohammed Shafiq

"As a parent myself, I'm going to teach my children respect for the law and respect for each and every community.

"These are the lessons parents should be giving to their children - not lessons about weapons and violence."

Father-of-three Mr Chapman boasts on his website that his nine-year-old son gave him the idea for the range.
The site advertises 31 different Lego-style weapons, weapons packs and 10 miniature militant figurines.

Other fighters in the range include World War Two troops, US marines - and a Nazi SS officer.
A spokesman for Lego UK said they were "not associated" with the toys being sold by BrickArms, "which have been customised without LEGO UK's knowledge or permission."

He added Lego is "committed to developing toys which enrich childhood by encouraging imaginative and creative play - and does not endorse products that do not fit with this philosophy."

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Disgust At 'Lego' Terrorist Toys

The toy mini-figures, made by American Will Chapman, includes a masked terrorist bandit with an assault rifle, grenade launcher and belt of explosives.

Shocked by the playthings, British Muslim organisation the Ramadhan Foundation has branded the figurines "absolutely disgusting".

Chief executive Mohammed Shafiq said the figures were "glorifying terrorism".

He said: "I don't think there's any difference between someone that shouts hatred through a megaphone and someone that creates a doll that glorifies terrorists.

It belittles the pain the families of victims of terror have gone through.Ramadhan Foundation chief executive Mohammed Shafiq

"As a parent myself, I'm going to teach my children respect for the law and respect for each and every community.

"These are the lessons parents should be giving to their children - not lessons about weapons and violence."

Father-of-three Mr Chapman boasts on his website that his nine-year-old son gave him the idea for the range.

The site advertises 31 different Lego-style weapons, weapons packs and 10 miniature militant figurines.

Other fighters in the range include World War Two troops, US marines - and a Nazi SS officer.
A spokesman for Lego UK said they were "not associated" with the toys being sold by BrickArms, "which have been customised without LEGO UK's knowledge or permission."

He added Lego is "committed to developing toys which enrich childhood by encouraging imaginative and creative play - and does not endorse products that do not fit with this philosophy."

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Councillor Neil Trafford is killed!!!

I have just returned from abroad and heard the dreadful news that Councillor Neil Trafford, City Councillor for Didsbury Ward in manchester City Council has died, I am deeply shocked and sad at this tragic news, it had such a promising future ahead of him.
I remember at the Conference in Bournemouth this year, being the soul of the Party, he was highly talented, liked, experienced and hard working campaigner and will be missed.

He will be missed by many in the North West, our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues, such a tragic loss.

Mumbai under siege from terrorists

I totally condemns the terrorist attacks tonight in Mumbai, India. These evil and despicable attacks have one aim and that is to kill innocent people. I express our concern for Sajjad Karrim MEP and many other innocent people that are caught up tonight, they are in our thoughts.

I am shocked and saddened at tonight’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai, I condemn them without any reservation and our thoughts tonight are with the victims and their families. All faiths reject this evil menace of terrorism and we should work together to build tolerance and respect and resolve conflicts through dialogue and discussion.

I am also concerned at the captivity of Sajjad Karrim MEP in the Taj Hotel; we hope and pray for the safe release of Sajjad and all those others captured tonight.

There can be no justification for this evil and I hope these strong words will send out the message that people of faith are disgusted by this evil.”

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

BNP membership list leaked!!!!

I call on the Government to identify from the leaked BNP Public Sectors workers including Police officers, Teachers and Army staff to ensure that they are dismissed from their jobs.

Continued membership of a fascist and racist party is not compatible with the values and ethos of public service. Further more these people will not be able to meet the requirement under the Race Relations Amendment Act to promote good relations between different communities and provide a fair and equal service to minority communities.

I pray tribute and thanks to the new Chief Constable of Greater Manchester police Peter Fahy for his forthright and clear condemnation of the BNP and support for equality.

I hope the Government seriously outlaws membership of the BNP for Public sector workers including teachers, police officers, army and civil servants.

How can these racist thugs provide equal service to minority communities when they promote fascism and hatred for these people in our diverse society, I pay tribute to Peter Fahy for his strong words of support against the BNP, he is a breath of fresh air. Let’s see action now from the Government.

Now is the time for real action to prove that there can be no place for racists and fascists in our public services”

Friday, 14 November 2008

Muslims have woken up!!!

Gordon Brown has delivered a speech in New York yesterday about interfaith and intolerance, in it he talks about action to isolate extremist groups and stop young people being attracted to these groups.
Firstly there is a real threat from terrorism and extremism, there is no getting away from this. There are some so called Muslims who are getting distorted opinions to justify this evil act. Muslims around the world have seen from scholars from all parts of Islam have seen total condemnation of terrorism and extremism, I am clear that there is no difference amongst mainstream Muslim scholars on this issue. We have seen a sea change in the Muslim community to this threat, no longer are people ignoring this threat and the community is focused on reclaiming the agenda and ensuring that those that promote violence and hatred are not welcome in our community.
I think we have started that debate to convince them that there path is wrong and violence in never justified.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

After 17 months of unimaginable cruelty, Baby P finally succumbed

I am horrified that the trial of a mother, her boyfriend and her lodger who spent months abusing a small baby has ended without those in social services, police and NHS staff that failed to protect the child that cant be named for legal reasons when they met the child more than 60 times. For the Haringey Council Director of Child Protection to launch an inquiry into her own department is like asking a murderer to investigate their own crime.
The most sad thing is a small innocent baby that was in the care of these sick people is abused, thrown around a room as if they were a doll, spat at, ribs and bowns broken and just left to fester on their own is beyong comprehension and is so evil I cannot begin to describe how I fell reading and watching about this case.
It's times like this I wish the death penalty was brought back for these scum. I am disaapointed that it became a political issue at PMQ in the House of Commons - watching David Cameron and Gordon Brown go at each other like cats was deeply worrying and off putting - to be fair to David Cameron he asked genuine questions because I suspect he was moved by the cruelty and failures of social services to protect him, Gordon Brown was wrong to turn this into a political football - the poor child lost their life and was subjected the most evil abuse and that is what we should all focus on ensuring never happens again.
My thoughts are with the Child's father and his family

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Reflections on the past few days.

I am still finding it hard to believe that Barack Obama is President Elect, the events of last Tuesday still bring a smile to my face and I know the world knows that Change has come. However let me be clear the road ahead will be difficult and sometimes I will disagree with the Obama's presidency and when that happens I will speak out - you can be certain of that!!!
Life in Rochdale is okay, we are currently campaigning against plans by the local Council to give developers green space in Rochdale's oldest Park called Springfield Park to build a driving range, this decision is immoral and does nothing to promote healthy living for working class people who struggle to pay for golf classes and deserve free open green space for citizens and their families.
I am taking a lot of political hits from people within Rochdale, politicians, media and others for campaigning to save this park - in years to come future generations will judge us on what we do to preserve our green spaces and I hope our Council thinkls again

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Obama is president elect of the USA!!!!

After an emotional and tearful night watching the results coming in from the US it was declared that Senator Barack Obama was elected President in a landslide, my eyes filled up with tears when the result came through because I remember the suffering of Black people (Imean this in the political sense), the slavery, oppresion and racism over the past 100 years.
Many lost their lives for freedom from oppresion and racism and today the United States have elected a Black Man as president, today all Ethnic minorities can dream to be leaders of their countries.
I met Senator Obama in 2006 before he began his campaign in Michigan, he was charsmatic, honest and had this ability to relate to different people, I knew then that he would make a great President.
Having said all this we need to see dramatic change to foreign policy in the US, an end to occupation in Iraq, a less aggressive foreign policy and where the integrity of independent nations is respected, where international law and institutions are respected and also where Guantanamo Bay is closed and torture is outlawed.
President Elect Obama has a great unique opportunity to make a real different to the world and I hope that really does change Washington, he has my best wishes, prayers and support over the coming days and months ahead.

The only worry I had of the campaign was whent he right wing media and neo cons tried to label Obama as a Muslim, as if this was an evil thing, I'm disappointed he did not attack those that demonised Islam and Muslims, the irony is that General Colin Powell, the Secretary of State at the time of the illegal war in Iraq tackled this issue a few weeks ago by saying American Muslims should be treated no different.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Jewel of Medina Novel - Author Sherry Jones contacts Ramadhan Foundation

Following the publication today in the US and soon in the UK of the Jewel of Medina the author Sherry Jones has contacted me and the Ramadhan Foundation setting out her views on this issue and the problems we face in relation to publication. I am the Foundation has always been open to debate and dialogue and by this engagement I am keen to ensure that despite strong differences we should always choose dialogue and peaceful engagement.

I still oppose the publication of this novel and urge all people of faith around the world to come together and stop our faiths being denigrated in this disgusting way.

I can confirm that this week that the author of the Jewel of Medina Sherry Jones has contacted the Ramadhan Foundation about our campaign against her novel and has made representations, I welcome this dialogue with her as an opportunity to ensure that we continue to discuss why we strongly oppose her novel and let her know the hurt she is causing Muslims.

Denigrating figures and symbols of faith is not acceptable and we should all come together, trying to use freedom of speech as an excuse to hide hatred for Islam is cheap and obvious.

I urge Muslims to remain calm and ensure that we campaign peacefully against this novel

Monday, 29 September 2008

Novel on prophet's Muhammad's wife is an attempt to whip up hatred against Muslims

I strongly condemns Jewel of Medina novel as an attempt to belittle, spear one of the greatest woman in Islam Aisha (RA).  I believe that these types of novels or books do nothing to promote understanding between faiths and respecting the symbols and figures of faiths, I am not against freedom of speech but believe that freedom comes with huge responsibility.

I further strongly condemn the violence and terrorism that has been used this weekend against the Gibson Square Publishing House, whilst I passionately oppose their plans to print the novel, trying to use violence is against Islam and I urge all Muslims to remain peaceful and within the law.

I am disgusted at the novel and the plans by Gibson House to publish, this serves no purpose and does little to promote understanding between communities – indeed attacking the central figures of Islam under the guise of freedom of speech is patronising and the world sees their attempt to belittle our faith.

I also strongly condemn the thugs that used terrorism against the publishing house; they do not represent Islam or Muslims and violence in any form cannot be justified and we urge the Publishers to withdraw publication.

I urge all Muslims to remain calm and peaceful but be under no illusion our faith is constantly under attack and we will not remain silent – I urge Muslims and those people of faith that are disgusted at this novel to unite and launch a peaceful campaign to protect the honour of all faiths and their figures.

I once again urge the publishers to stop publication and not promote hatred against Muslims”

Monday, 18 August 2008


I welcome Pervez Musharraf’s resignation as President of Pakistan and hope that the Government of Pakistan will get on with tackling terrorism, poverty, deprivation and unemployment.

Life under Musharraf has been hard for ordinary Pakistanis and will probably be no different under the new Government, this is the most important policy area for any Government, yet the Pakistani Government is more interested in playing musical chairs.

Pakistan must free itself from dependency from Western powers; decisions should be made by Pakistan and not by outside forces, change is on its way but it must be lasting change”

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

I widely welcomes and celebrates the capture of disgraced Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic in Belgrade last night. The moment for justice has arrived for millions of Bosnian Muslims and Croats who lost loved ones and saw them driven from their homes and communities.

Whilst celebrating his capture, I also remember with sadness and sorrow the millions of victims of the Bosnian war, this was Europe’s 20th century Holocaust and it was a matter of shame that Europe allowed this massacre to go on under their noses.

I urge the Serbian Government to send him to The Hague immediately so that he can be charged and put on trial for his murderous crimes, I further urge increased work to capture the Serb military leader Ratko Mladic so that victims can see justice done and this distressing chapter of war crimes can be closed.

I commend all those involved in his capture and look forward to his appearance at The Hague.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

I widely welcomes the Government’s Equalities Bill published today in the House of Commons. This is a unique moment for equality in this country and the Government is widely applauded for its initiative to bring all equalities legislation into one act that is enforced, readable and effective.

I have to say ultimate praise goes to the Equalities Minister Harriet Harman MP, without her determination and commitment we would not be able to get to today and when history comes to judge 2008 her name will forever be remembered for equality and the historic steps she has take today. I urge the Government to introduce the Bill in the next Queens Speech and ensure that it completes its passage before summer 2009.

I urge all political parties to support the Bill and ensure that any attempt to delay passage will be met with resistance from the country at large. I condemn the right wing media for the headlines in today’s papers, these headlines are based on lies, they should be ashamed.

I am pleased that the Government have taken this initiative in the Equalities field, we pay tribute to the Government and in particular the Equalities Minister Harriet Harman MP, without her leadership and commitment we would not be able to get to this stage.

I urge the Government to introduce the Bill in the next session and let’s make history together.

I condemn those tabloids that print blatant lies that pander to prejudice and discrimination, no person will receive any preferential treatment under these proposals.”

Thursday, 12 June 2008

David Davis stands for his principles, commended and saluted

I commends David Davis MP on his courageous and principled proposal to resign as the Conservative Shadow Home Secretary and a MP for his local constituency. For too long politicians have been accused of putting their own interests before their principles – today Mr. Davis has done what is right and I salute his courage and commitment to defending civil liberties in this country.

The Government failed to provide any evidence to suggest the needs for an increase of pre charge detention, the Labour MPs that changed their votes and voted for Gordon Brown should hang their head in shame. Rights that have taken hundreds of years to be enshrined in British law should not be given up on the basis of shoring up a failed premiership of a lame duck Prime Minister.

David Davis’s principled defence of Civil Liberties and the rule of law is an inspiration for the nation, we look forward to a debate based on the issues and evidence and not jumped up proposals for political benefits. The Government should not play politics with people’s lives.

I commend and salute David Davis MP for his courage and determination to defend civil liberties, for too long politicians have been accused of putting their own interests before their principles – today David Davis has stood up for his principles and he stands taller today amongst his peers in the House of Commons.

Those Labour MPs that changed their minds and supported the Government to protect the Prime Minister should hang their hands in shame; they should have followed their conscience and should have voted for liberties and justice.

This authoritarian Government has spent a decade curtailing freedom and civil liberties and the time has come for the nation to say enough is enough.”

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Radical Islam taking advantage of Christianity's decline, says bishop

Radical Islam is threatening to fill a “moral vacuum” in Britain as a result of a decline of Christian values, a senior Church of England bishop has said.

The Bishop of Rochester, the Right Rev Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, claims that the Church dissolved its influence over the country’s morals during the social and sexual revolution of the 1960s. He said that the waning influence of Christianity had created a lack of principles that was allowing radical Islam to push its “comprehensive” claims.

Mohammed Shafiq, of the Muslim youth organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, criticised the Bishop, saying that there was no evidence that the vacuum left by Christianity was being filled by extremists; it was being filled by secularists and an obsession with celebrity, fame and money, he said.

Dr Nazir-Ali said in his article for the political magazine Standpoint that Christianity had brought together a “rabble of mutually hostile tribes, fiefdoms and kingdoms” into a nation conscious of its identity and able to make an impact on the world.

He quoted an academic who blamed the 1960s cultural revolution for bringing Christianity’s role in society to an abrupt end. It was said that, instead of resisting the social and sexual revolution, church leaders had capitulated. The Bishop said: “It is a situation which has created the moral and spiritual vacuum in which we find ourselves. Whilst the Christian consensus was dissolved, nothing else, except perhaps endless self-indulgence, was put in its place.”

Marxism had been shown to be a “nonsense”, he added. “We are now, however, confronted by another equally serious ideology, that of radical Islamism, which also claims to be comprehensive in scope. It remains the case, however, that many of the beliefs and values which we need to deal with the present situation are rooted in the Judaeo-Christian tradition.”

Earlier this year the Bishop argued in a Sunday newspaper that Islamic extremists were creating “no-go areas” for non-Muslims in Britain, over which he received death threats. Last weekend he was quoted as claiming that the Church was not doing enough to convert Muslims to Christianity.

In his Standpoint article he said: “The question is not ‘should faith have a role in public life?’ — but what kind of role? Every temptation to theocracy, on every side, must be renounced. There is no place for coercion where the relationship of religion to the State is concerned.”Government would have to be more open to religious concerns and to make room for religious conscience, the Bishop said.

“The integrity and autonomy of public authority and of the law will also have to be recognised and it would be best if religious law in its application was left to the communities. Public law should, however, continue to provide overarching protection for all.”

Mr Shafiq countered the Bishop’s argument on extremism, saying: “Another day and another attack on Islam and Muslims by Mr Nazir-Ali.

“Everything this man says is based on fiction and promoting intolerance and fear among communities.
“Islam is on the rise because people recognise and are inspired by the trueness of our faith, whilst recognising that we live in a majority Christian country. We all have a duty to work together to build cohesive communities and not establish division,” Mr Shafiq added.

Friday, 23 May 2008

I offer my total condemnation at the attempted terrorist attack in Exeter City Centre. I pay tribute to the Police and Security Services in their hard work to protect the country. I urge any citizen of the United Kingdom that has any information to bring this to the attention of the Police. Islam totally condemns terrorism in any form and we stand ready to offer any assistance.

I urge calm and unity in this country and not allow the terrorists to succeed in their aim to divide the citizens of this country and establish hatred amongst different communities.

I are however disappointed that the description of this suspect of a convert to Islam suggests that those who convert to Islam are somewhat mental and brainwashed into converting, this is a grotesque description and one that is not true. Thousands of people convert to Islam every year in this country because we are a faith of compassion, peace and tolerance – any attempt to belittle converts intelligent decisions to convert will not be tolerated and is a trick to once again demonise Islam.

On behalf of the Ramadhan Foundation I offer my total condemnation of the terrorist attack in Exeter City Centre, we are all grateful of the Police and security services for their hard work.

The attempts to belittle and ridicule converts that come into Islam are unacceptable and will harden divisions amongst communities. Converts come to Islam because they see compassion and peace; we hope extremists rediscover the true meaning of Islam.

I urge unity in this country and urge anyone with information on terrorism to contact the Police.”

Monday, 19 May 2008

Fusion Awards announces finalists - I'm nominated for man of the year!!!

UNSUNG heroes who have contributed to their communities in the north west will be recognised at the Fusion Awards 2008 this weekend.

The finalist have been announced for the sold-out event which will take place this Saturday at the Premier Suite, Ewood Park, Blackburn.

As well as the awards ceremony, entertainment will also be provided. This will include a catwalk show featuring some of the north’s top designers and performances from top comedienne Shazia Mirza and Bollywood dance group Imagine Asian.
The finalists are as follows:

Community group of the year

Youth in Action (Preston), a voluntary group set up by and for young people. Helping younger people to focus on studying and personal development, Youth in Action has 10 young board members and works with over 100 young people in the inner-city Frenchwood and Avenham areas of Preston.

Building Bridges Pendle (Nelson), producing Community Cohesion Education Programmes for local primary and secondary schools as well as inter-faith seminars, peace vigils, community forums and joint projects between places of worship from different faiths.

Behna Group (Great Harwood), helping advance women’s education through informal training for women aged 20 to 60 in a friendly environment, with all board members using their free time and relying on very little funding

Brookhouse Community Action Team (Blackburn), raising awareness of vital health issues among young people, including designing the first-ever testicular cancer toolkit which will be distributed through Macmillan Cancer Research

Our Independence (Altrincham), a group helping disabled people make new friends, set up by Renu Duggal after she suffered a stroke and lost the use of one side of her body. The group meets weekly and all activities are offered free of charge.
Community Cohesion Award

Omar Khan (Preston), Omar's group works closely with disaffected young people in the Fishwick, Callon and Deepdale wards of Preston, with an emphasis on diversionary activities to keep youth away from gang culture and gun crime. Omar often works in his own free time, and has used his own money when funding has dried up.

Bolton Interfaith Council, whose activities include the discussion and resolution of issues, an ongoing events programme and other awareness-raising activities working towards raising trust and understanding between the faith communities in Bolton.

Father Phillip Sumner (Oldham). Admired by so many people from all backgrounds, responsible for very successful grass roots inter-faith initiatives in the Oldham area after spending 25 years in the Moss Side area of Manchester where he set up the ‘Young, Gifted and Equal’ programme advocating respect for young people’s ethnic and religious identities.

One Extreme to the Other (Oldham), a ground-breaking play by Mike Harris, performed to over 2,500 pupils in Greater Manchester. Developed by Mossley-based GW Theatre Company in partnership with Oldham Council, the play features a Muslim extremist as well as a white extremist group and is now being commissioned for performances across the UK.

Trish Ferrarin and Judy Smith (Blackburn), chair and secretary of the Revidge Community Association to tackle neighbourhood issues including crime, traffic hot spots and litter and to promote inter-community understanding.

The Community Cohesion Award is sponsored by the Blackburn with Darwen Council and Lancashire Constabulary.

Entrepreneur of the year

Kay Gire (Blackburn), founder, Nirvana Centre for Well-Being. Kay left a career in financial services to specialize in the 5,000-year-old emotional freedom technique; she also publishes the international e-zine Bliss.

Penny Virdee (Preston), Style Rooms, a boutique that really breaks the mould in Asian fashion retail, with hand-picked designer labels, a made-to-measure service and eye-catching interior design. Penny also works hard with local charities including Cancer Concern.
Rukshanda Ibrahim (Bolton), personalisemydummy.com. A mother of four, Rukshanda knew at first-hand that children lose dummies constantly, and came up with a unique product – personalized dummies.

Shabnam Naz Khan (Nelson), Maria’s Cash & Carry and Maria’s Farms. Shabnam was the first Asian woman in the North West to run her own cash-and-carry, deciding that business was her true vocation although she’d studied law. Investing in a farm on the outskirts of Colne and employing local people there, Shabnam recently bought a second farm, and is now rearing 400 cattle in total and looking into halal dairy produce.
Public service award

Hena Begum, East Lancashire Children’s Home. Already having been the first Bangladeshi to join Lancashire Constabulary, Hena switched to working as a residential social worker in Lancashire, where she now champions equality and diversity.

Humayun Shouib, National Probation Service. Lancashire-based Humayun has worked for the Service for 16 years, in which time he has negotiated prayer facilities and halal food provision as well as delivering diversity training and establishing a Black and Asian Staff Networking Group.
Sadiq Patel, Blackburn with Darwen Council for Voluntary Service. Sadiq has been providing a critical link for inter-faith dialogue, with both the CVS and with Blackburn Rovers Football Club.
Sheela Solanki, Preston Women’s Refuge. Sheela, a Youth Offending Team Officer working in Blackpool, is volunteer chair of the management committee at Preston Women’s Refuge, a drop-in centre with a 24-hour staffed helpline.

Sports personality award, sponsored by Nationwide Leasing

Prabha Halai (Bolton), organizer of the Bend It Like Beckham Project in Bolton which promotes women’s football – and its teamwork and health benefits - among women of all ages and abilities in the local South Asian communities. Prabha’s team have gone from strength to strength and now play in local leagues.

Ferrari Faqiri, winner of 23 karate and tae kwon do medals in the last 12 months. Ferrari already holds two world championships in karate and one in tae kwon do, and aims to be an Olympic champion in London in 2012. Ferrari, who was born 10 weeks prematurely and is an asthma sufferer, also trains young people from the local area at his father’s gym.

Ibrahim Shah (Blackburn), 12-year-old winner of the North West Golden Gloves finals in Manchester earlier this year. The Audley Boxing Club member, Blackburn’s first ever Golden Gloves finalist, was chosen to represent England and he fought in the Three Nations Tournament in Sheffield, clinching gold in his England debut.

Maira Malik (Liverpool), nine-year-old karate black belt and ‘success coach’ to other youngsters. This year Maira was named Under-10s Sports Personality of the Year at the British Asian Sports Awards.
Man of the year

Canon Chris Chivers (Blackburn Cathedral), who has been at the forefront of inter-faith dialogue and initiatives in the area, especially projects helping build bridges between Muslims and Christians.

Muhammed Matadar, a Blackburn-based Premiership official who began as a referee in local community leagues 12 years ago and has now refereed for the Champions League and the UEFA Cup amongst others. Muhammed continues to assist local leagues, including organizing charity tournaments, despite his busy schedule.

Muhammed Shafiq, Rochdale-based head of the Ramadhan Foundation, who has been vocal in helping debunk media misconceptions around Islam and who has spoken widely on issues affecting first-generation British Muslims.
Woman of the year

Feeraz Begum, Brierfield-based founder of Caring Today, a support group for parents of children with disabilities. Herself the mother of a child with multiple disabilities, Feeraz set out to challenge some of the notions about disabilities within the South Asian communities. Caring

Today now has seven full-time staff and 16 sessional workers.

Mussurut Zia, a Blackburn woman who has spent the last 10 years working for community cohesion in her role with Lancashire Constabulary, tirelessly campaigning for women’s rights and against domestic violence, forced marriage and honour killings. Mussurut has written training materials on these subjects for the police, the CPS and voluntary sector organizations.

Fatima Patel, Tay Jiva and Monica Bhagchandani, three Bolton women who set up Ethical Entertainment, an organization involved in community celebrations. The group has strong connections with the Fortalice women’s refuge, for whom they have helped forge meaningful links with women in the South Asian communities.

An Education Achievement Award, sponsored by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), will also be awarded on the night.

Fusion Awards 2008 has been supported by No Limits, Lancashire Constabulary, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Nationwide Vehicle Leasing, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) and Asian Image

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Malaysia's ex-PM Mahathir wants Iraq war leaders on war crimes charges

LONDON (AFP) — Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has called for an international tribunal to try Western leaders with war crimes over the war in Iraq, a spokesman for the organisers said.

In a speech at Imperial College, London, Mahathir called for a tribunal to try US President George W. Bush plus former prime ministers Tony Blair of Britain and John Howard of Australia for their part in the conflict, said a spokesman for the Muslim group the Ramadhan Foundation, which set up the event.

Spokesman Mohammed Shafiq told AFP that Mahathir, who was in office from 1981 to 2003, wants to see the trio tried "in absence for war crimes committed in Iraq.

"It was a opportunity for students to put a range of questions about war crimes and the international situation.

"He said that people have to stop killing each other and use arbitration, negotiation and discussion as an alternative to violence, war and killing."

On the war in Iraq, Mahathir spoke about "the thousands dying, the economic war, the power of oil and how we could utilise some of these tools to have a leverage against the people who commit countries to war," Shafiq said.

He purposely did not speak about or answer questions from students on the political situation in Malaysia, said Shafiq.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is facing growing demands to quit, following an unprecedented electoral setback in March.

More than 450 people attended the speech and about 200 more had to be turned away.
Mahathir was in Cuba earlier this week to take part in the first International Conference of the Cuban Centre for Studies on Defence Information.

The Ramadhan Foundation is a leading British Muslim youth organisation working for peaceful co-existence and dialogue between communities.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Muslim leader accuses police of being 'over cautious' in stopping Asian gangs pimping white girls

A muslim leader has accused the police of failing to tackle Asian gangs suspected of prostituting young white girls.

Officers are accused of being "over cautious" when investigating Muslim criminals because they fear being branded racist.

Last night Mohammed Shafiq, director of the Ramadhan Foundation, said the police were differentiating between criminals on the basis of race.

He claimed, driven by fear of race riots in places like Blackburn and Oldham, officers were "overtly sensitive" and not clamping down on the sordid practice.

His controversial comments in this week's Panorama reignite a massively controversial issue which exploded over a Channel 4 documentary in 2004.

That programme which claimed Asian men in Bradford were grooming under age white girls for prostitution was pulled from C4's schedules.

This was because police claimed at the time that it could provoke racial violence during the local election campaign.

Now the BBC is to risk the wrath of police officials and campaigners by airing a programme which will look at the same issue.

Speaking as part of the Panorama investigation, which airs tomorrow (Thursday), Shafiq said: "I think the police are overcautious on dealing with this issue openly because they fear being branded racist and I think that is wrong."

"These are criminals they should be treated as criminals. They are not Asian criminals, they are not Muslim criminals, they are not white criminals. They are criminals and they should be treated as criminals."

He said that some of the criminals were Asian gangs looking to supplement their income, after the cost of drugs has fallen over the last few years.

Shafiq said "I am the only Muslim leader in the UK that speaks up against this sort of thing and I do it because these teenage girls are somebody's sisters and they are somebody's daughters. I have got two daughters and I wouldn't want that to happen to my daughters.

"If there is a drug dealer grooming a white teenager into prostitution then I don't want the police service or local authority not to be open about it."

Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, also raised concerns about the issue yesterday.

He said: "Everybody is affected by political correctness. The reason why it is so important is because things like this.

"Young girls are having their lives threatened and ruined because people pussyfoot around and they are too scared to do anything in case they make a mistake and are accused of racism.

"That's why we have to tackle the culture of political correctness everybody is affected by and I think the police are probably more affected and hamstrung by it than most organisations."

His comments come as Professor David Barrett of University of Bedfordshire also raised deep concerns about the issue in the BBC1 programme.

He claimed evidence suggested that those operating the practice were "absolutely" likely to get away with it.

The programme will controversially reveal the ethnic pattern of the crime which is largely Asian in northern England, Afro-Caribbean in the West Midlands and elsewhere white, Turkish and Kurdish.

The Government, reacting to concerns, has revealed it will introduce new crime-fighting targets aimed at specifically combating the little-publicised problem.

But there are concerns that the practice, mostly operated by drug dealing gangs, has been of little priority to the various authorities.

Figures suggest there are in the region of 5,000 British children being used as prostitutes.
On the programme Vernon Coaker under secretary of state with responsibility for policing reveals the new measures will be come into force next month.

The government also plans to introduce a new warning video for use in schools over the issue.
But despite funding a Home Office study almost ten years ago which revealed how the problem can be tackled, the police has a low prosecution rate.

Coaker told Panorama that using powers under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 there have been just 44 convictions for grooming and pimping young children.

Police attempts are said to be frustrated by a code of silence.

*Panorama airs on Thursday 27th March on BBC1 at 10.35pm

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Murder of Archbishop Rahho in Iraq is crime against humanity

I expresses my total disgust and anger at the brutal murder of Catholic Archbishop of Mosul Paulos Faraj Rahho, this senseless murder goes against humanity and we express our deep sorrow to the Catholic Church and community around the world.

Islam urges us to stand with those that are oppressed around the world, whatever their nationality or faith, the killing of religious leaders that work to promote peace and understanding in Iraq goes against the very basic principles of Islam.

I urge the United Nations to order an independent investigation into the circumstances of Archbishop’s kidnap and subsequent killing and we urge the Iraqi Government to bring the culprits to justice. There should be no hiding place for these evil people anywhere in the world.

I expresses its total disgust, anger and condemnation at the senseless murder of Archbishop Rahho in Mosul, Iraq. The killing of religious leaders in unacceptable and we offer our condolences to Archbishop’s family and the Catholic Church.

I call on the United Nations to begin an independent inquiry into his murder and urge all concerned to cooperate. There should be an international campaign to protect religious leaders from all faiths from intimidation, threat or violence.

I know that all the faith leaders will join me in paying tribute to Archbishop Rahho’s work and calling for the protection of faith leaders.”

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Death of Chief Constable Michael Todd

I am deeply saddened by the death of Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Michael Todd. He had a distinguished record of policing throughout his career and he will be missed by colleagues, friends and those that met him on various occasions.

Our thoughts are with Michael’s family and friends during this difficult time, having met him on various occasions I was struck by his commitment to tackling crime and helping improve communities.

Since his arrival in Greater Manchester, the force has been engaged in building links with the Muslim community and his personal support on these issues was valued by me personally and the wider Muslim community.

Once again I offer my support and condolences to Michael’s family and friends.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Israel and war crimes in Gaza

I totally condemns the Israeli aggression and oppression being carried out in Gaza, with over 70 people dead, many children and innocent people there is a quiet silence from the international community which is deeply flawed and worrying.

There can be no justification for the continue oppression and discriminate killing that is carried out and I urge the international community to speak against this evil and ensure that the voices of innocent Palestinians are not silenced.

Israel has engaged in war crimes, what purpose is served by killing women and children? The Israeli’s must recognise that there continued occupation of Palestinian land is the sole reason why there is instability in the region.

I am horrified and saddened by the deaths of many innocent people including women and children in Gaza, it is once again clear that Israel is engaged in committing war crimes and we strongly condemn these actions – we send our deepest condolences and prayers to those that are suffering in Gaza.

I further urges the international community not to remain silent and condemn these crimes and urge the Israelis to stop their occupation and continued oppression of the Palestinian people.

We must all stand up against this evil, whatever our faith or background.”

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Republication of Danish Cartoons

I am deeply saddened by the republication of these evil cartoons; I condemn the newspapers concerned unreservedly and urge them to stop escalating this matter.

I urge the Muslim community across the world to remain calm and not allow success to those that want a violent reaction from the community. I urge people to express their concern via their Danish embassy and to the Danish Government.

I support and practice freedom of speech but this ends when others are hurt

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

I'm attacked by right wing bigots, badge of honour!!!

Recently the right wing bigots who class themselves as columnists in mainstream British Newspaper have started attacking me for taking a different position to theirs on Nazir Ali's comments on no go areas by Muslim extremists in the UK, see below for comments:
Mohammed Shafiq accused the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, of spreading hatred towards Muslims

Writing in the Daily Express, Forsyth laid into Mr Shafiq, spokesman for the Rochdale-based Ramadhan Foundation, over his comments.

Forsyth called for his resignation for saying that fundamentalism had made some Islamic communities hostile to Christians and those from other faiths.

But Day of the Jackal author Forsyth said the Foundation and fellow Muslim organisation, the Islamic Society of Great Britain, were over-reacting and accused them of distorting the truth.

He wrote in the Express: "The Ramadhan Foundation claimed again that anyone criticising even the most extreme proponents of the poison that beyond any doubt exists inside the Muslim ‘umma’ in our country is criticising all Muslims.

"This is simply not true and one suspects these ‘spokesmen’ secretly know it.

"The Bishop made absolutely plain that he was referring to extremists and to suggest that no such maniacs exist is ludicrous."

He added: "To claim to speak for British Islam, but only to rage at a Christian bishop who preaches against the evil of hatred – and hatred is evil in all beliefs – is not the answer."

But Mr Shafiq has hit back at the criticism, claiming the column was an attempt to demonise his organisation.

He said: "There is clear intent to demonise and attack a Muslim organisation, which works to build understanding between different communities.

"There is clearly an attempt to attack me in particular and damage my reputation. These comments belittle the work we do."

Thursday, 7 February 2008

I welcomes the comments and support from the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams for the introduction of Sharia law in the United Kingdom for civil matters. These comments from Archbishop Williams are testament to his attempts to understand Islam and promote tolerance and respect between our great faiths.

The introduction of Sharia Law for civil matters in the UK will allow British Muslims to seek religious ruling for matters that UK courts do not pass judgement on, Sharia law is widely misunderstood and this intervention from Archbishop Williams will reinstate the debate based on facts not right wing headlines.

I do however express concern that Archbishop Williams did not speak publically against the comments made by Mr. Nazir Ali about no go areas, it is now clear that his article was false and in fact there are no go areas for Christians in the UK. Without the strong condemnation from Archbishop Williams when certain figures try to promote intolerance Muslims will take the silence as authority and support for such comments.

I will continue to work with the Church of England to build understanding and respect for our two communities”

Banning of Shaykh Yusuf Al Qardawi

I want to expresses my total condemnation and concern at the banning of Shaykh Yusuf Al Qardawi from visiting the UK for medical treatment. The Government have pandered to the right wing xenophobes who wish to isolate and demonise Islam and Muslims.

Shaykh Al Qardawi is a voice of moderation and is widely respected across the international community, he has spoken out against terrorism and totally condemns 9/11, 7/7 and other terrorist attacks. I am concerned that this will fuel the anger Muslims have towards the Government and Politicians like David Cameron who jumps on bandwagons to demonise Islam and Muslims.

There are many people in the BNP and the far right that project violence and hatred towards minorities yet this Government does not take any action, this banning smacks of double standards, one rule for Muslims and one for non Muslims.

I urge the government to rethink this decision and allow him to come to the UK for medical treatment.

I am clear that the Government is pandering to prejudices when it made this decision.”

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Rochdale's Labour candidate panders to the BNP

I am clear that the role of the Mosque has substantially changed over the past decade. With more 2nd generation youngsters wanting to hear and learn Islam in English. We have consistently believed that the Mosques must wake up this challenge, understanding and speaking English is now an essential part of the Imam role. This also means that Young people should make every effort to understand their mother tongue and work hard to build a wider understanding of both cultures and languages.

This sort of politics breeds division and allows those on the far right to take advantage, the central principal is that the running of the Mosques are an internal matter for the Muslim community, how would readers feel if Muslims were dictating to Christians or Jews how to run their pray sessions or Churches and Synagogues.

Politicians of all parties have a duty to ensure that they do not jump on every bandwagon that passes through, the challenges for the Mosques are very clear and I do believe we are seeing change happening on the ground.

The legacy of this Government is one of the Iraq War, long term detention, discriminating anti terror laws and losing of personal data, it is interesting that Mr. Danczuk is not willing to talk about the wider important issues facing our country.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Islamic extremism creating 'no-go' areas for non-Muslims in Britain, says Bishop of Rochester

He warned against the acceptance in this country of Sharia laws based on the Koran and added that amplified calls to prayer from mosques are imposing an Islamic character on surrounding areas.

And he complained of the "multi-faith mish-mash" promoted by the Government and blamed it for undermining the influence of Christianity.

The bishop's attack on aggressive Islamic leaders brought condemnation from prominent Muslim groups. One called for the Church of England to take "serious action" against him.

But Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said the bishop had exposed "a deeply serious problem".

The bishop is one of the most senior clergymen in England, pictured here with the Queen

He added that Gove
rnment confusion "risks encouraging radicalism and creating home-grown terrorism".

Dr Nazir-Ali, who grew up in Pakistan where he suffered harassment for his own Christian faith, warned of no-go areas in an article in the Sunday Telegraph.
He spoke of "a worldwide resurgence of the ideology of Islamic extremism" and added:

"One of the results of this has been to further alienate the young from the nation in which they were growing up and also to turn already separate communities into 'no-go' areas where adherence to this ideology has become a mark of acceptability."

The bishop added: "Those of a different faith or race may find it difficult to live or work there because of hostility to them. In many ways, this is the other side of the coin of far-Right intimidation."

Dr Nazir-Ali said that using amplification for the call to prayer from mosques was an attempt to impose Islam on an area.

This, he said, raised the question of "whether non-Muslims wish to be told the creed of a particular faith five times a day on the loudspeaker.

"This is happening here even though some Muslim-majority communities are trying to reduce noise levels from multiple mosques announcing this call, one after the other, over quite a small geographical area."

The bishop said that the influence-of Christianity was in decline because "the authorities want multi-faith provision", which meant chapels and chaplains in hospitals, prisons and universities were now under threat.

Secularism and the "multi-faith mish-mash" were pushing out Christianity and Government attempts to encourage integration "lack the underpinning of a moral and spiritual vision".

The charges brought an angry response from the Muslim Council of Britain, the Islamic umbrella group which has come back into favour with the Government since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister.

Assistant Secretary-General Inayat Bunglawala said the Government had contributed to the rise of Islamic extremism and compared the Islamic call to prayer with church bells.

'He talks about the rise of "Islamic extremism" but fails to mention how some of the policies of our government and especially that of the United States in the Middle East over several decades now has clearly contributed to this phenomenon.

"He complains of the Islamic call to prayer but presumably is content for all of us to listen to the ringing of church bells. As Jesus himself advised, perhaps the good bishop may want to examine the beam in his own eye before pointing fingers at others."

Mohammed Shafiq, of the Muslim youth group the Ramadhan Foundation, accused Dr Nazir-Ali of attempting to "whip up hatred" against Muslims. The article would "remind people of the road to Nazism", he said.

A spokesman for the Communities and Local Government Department said: "The overwhelming majority of Muslims are peaceful, make a huge contribution to British life and find the views of a small minority of violent extremists completely abhorrent.

"Britain also has a proud tradition of different communities living together side by side."

• The Bishop's attack on Islamic extremism has cemented his place as one of the Church of England's pre-eminent defenders of traditional Christianity.
Michael Nazir-Ali's outspokenness has put him in the vanguard of opposition to hard- line Islamism and made him one of the highest-placed enemies of the gay rights movement.

Born into a Roman Catholic family, Michael Nazir-Ali converted to Anglicanism aged 20.

The 58-year-old father of two has set himself against feminism by criticising couples who decline to have children and he is among the clerics who
speak most strongly against attempts to remove signs of Christianity from public life.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Benazir Bhutto is killed

Last Thursday Benazir Bhutto, Former Prime Minister of Pakiistan was killed in a terrorist attack in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. I conducted over 300 interviews across the world about this evil act and my response. Yu can watch the interviews on YouTube www.youtube.com/ramadhanfoundation or read some of the coverage in the written media below.

Tears for martyr Benazir - (Guardian Newspaper, Asian News, The Observer)
Mohammed Shafiq, of the Rochdale-based Ramadan foundation, called for the elections to be postponed `as a mark of respect' and added: "This is a tragic day for Pakistan." But he said there was no suggestion the violent demonstrations in Pakistan would be replicated in Greater Manchester.

Reactions Of Grief At Benazir Bhutto's Assasination (Sky News, Yahoo, Timesonline)

British political campaigner Mohammed Shafiq said: "This has destroyed any chance of election in Pakistan. It will cause more friction and more problems."