Oldham MP named as new immigration minister

The Greater Manchester MP at the centre of a row over Muslim women wearing a veil has been named the new immigration minister. Phil Woolas, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, prompted anger in some sections of the Muslim community two years ago when he said some people could find veils `frightening and intimidating’. And earlier this year he suggested that the practice of first-cousin marriage in Britain’s Pakistani community was leading to birth defects. Mr Woolas – who is one of Labour’s most vocal critics of the British National Party – has said his efforts to raise awareness of first-cousin marriages won support from doctors and members of the Asian community. He takes on his new Home Office job as part of the wide-ranging government reshuffle announced by Gordon Brown.http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=FD64AD56EF75ACD9FA2BD9C4&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News

Oldham MP named as new immigration minister

The Greater Manchester MP at the centre of a row over Muslim women wearing a veil has been named the new immigration minister. Phil Woolas, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, prompted anger in some sections of the Muslim community two years ago when he said some people could find veils `frightening and intimidating’. And earlier this year he suggested that the practice of first-cousin marriage in Britain’s Pakistani community was leading to birth defects. Mr Woolas – who is one of Labour’s most vocal critics of the British National Party – has said his efforts to raise awareness of first-cousin marriages won support from doctors and members of the Asian community. He takes on his new Home Office job as part of the wide-ranging government reshuffle announced by Gordon Brown.

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Muslim Centre’s first Eid a success

The Oldham Muslim Centre held its first Eid prayers last week to a full house. Organisers had to hold two congregations due to the large number of people who turned up to make their prayers for Eid.
The imam and spokesperson for OMC, Shaykh Abdullah Al Mamun told congregation to take what they learnt from the month of Ramadan to help shape the rest of the year and live a “moral and family orientated life.” The Eid congregation was the conclusion to an intense and busy month at the OMC with worshippers, who attended in hundreds every day making the OMC a lively hub for the community in Oldham.

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Former Lord Mayor honoured with CBE

Manchester’s first Muslim Lord Mayor was among the local heroes saluted in today’s honours list. Councillor Afzal Khan was made a CBE for unstinting services to local government and race relations. Mr Khan, who was born in Pakistan, said: “I was a bit shocked when I was told about the award but I feel genuinely honoured, and not a little humbled.” The solicitor moved to Britain when he was 12 and started his working life as a mill worker. He resumed his education before joining Greater Manchester Police as a constable and entering politics. Also honoured were Riaz Ahmad, JP from Oldham who made an OBE for services to local government, the administration of justice and to the community in Oldham. Iqbal Bhana from West Yorkshire received an OBE for services to community relations in West Yorkshire.http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=3D246E972CB89FC4CF14BED5&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News

Muslim leader slams police

A Muslim leader who appeared on the hard-hitting BBC programme ‘Panorama’ slammed police for failing to deal with Asian gangs who force young white girls into prostitution. Mohammed Shafiq, director of the Rochdale-based Ramadhan Foundation, claimed that officers were differentiating between criminals on the basis of race. He said that fears of a repeat of the Oldham race riots in places like Oldham mean that officers are _overtly sensitive’ and are not clamping down on prostitution. The broadcast comes after a 2004 Channel 4 documentary which claimed that Asian men in Bradford were grooming under-age white girls for prostitution was pulled. Police claimed it could provoke racial violence during the local election campaign. But Mr Shafiq told Panorama that he believed the police were “over cautious” when dealing with the issue.http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=413062931084A3D0C4AEB741&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News