Community Leaders question Rochdale MP’s Propaganda

By Majed Iqbal- It is often populalry quoted in political circles that “A week in politics is a long time” and indeed this has been exactly the case this week after the Question Time Event on “Extremism, Islam and the Muslim Community” staged on Saturday 9th february in Rochdale.

Ghulam Shazad- “No community leaders expressed concern”

Amidst the lies and misinformation spread by Paul Rowen and his office was the arguement that Community leaders had expressed concern at Saturdays event, based upon which it was decided that Paul should not attend the event. On contacting as many community leaders as possible in Rochdale nobody knew of any comments made of such a nature to Paul or any of his office members.

Rochdale Ovbserver ran a story on the day of the event that Mr Ghulam Rasool Shazad had expressed concern at the event. On meeting Mr Shazad on the day and being questioned if this was the case he replied

What i had said is that my concern was about Paul accepting to discuss and then backing out. This is what i meant

I asked Mr Ghulam of any community leaders who had reservations with the evnet to which he replied

Nobody has expressed anything of that nature in any way. However i do believe that the organisers of the event should have consulted the Mosques and involved them more in the discussions about the event

I agreed with Mr Shazads comments. In fact on Thursday 7th february i went to visit Central mosque (idara), Golden Mosque (spotland), Al-Quba Moque (Wardleworth) and Chistiah Mosque (Tweedale) whilst Neeli Mosque was covered by a friend. All these mosquses had agreed that the discussion is productive for the community.

Those who know me personally will know that i have played an active role in the Rochdale Committe for Islamic Affairs (RCIA), a sister organisation to the Rochdale moon-sighting Committee, which was set up to tackle these exact issues but now lays low. In my discussion on Saturday 9th February with Mr Shazad i expressed my issues about the absence of debate  from the RCIA

“My event was organised because there was an absence of frank debate and dialogue from imams and mosques despite my concerted efforts to bring this debate on a public level”

Overall, the cheap tactics employed by Politicians like Paul Rowen has only left the community with one conclusion that people are ready to debate and dialogue key issues whilst Politicians hide behind fabrication and misinformation.

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