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Saturday, 28 August 2010

Fund-raisers face race hate taunts (UK)

Caring youngsters who gave up their time to raise funds for victims of the Pakistan floods were subjected to racist comments from passers-by.
Remarks such as “it’s about time something like this happened” have appalled Hifsa Haroon- Iqbal, leader of the Muslim Youth Project who took a group of 10-16- year olds and adults to Stafford town centre to support Oxfam’s emergency appeal.

But she stressed that the vast majority of passers-by were generous in their response, and the group raised more than £700 in just four hours.

“The young people did a fantastic job in Market Square and I want to say thank you to people for supporting them,” Mrs Haroon-Iqbal said.

“However they also got racial abuse and were shocked. It was aimed at Pakistan and the stuff that has been in the Press about it being the centre of terrorism.

“Somebody said ‘it’s time something like this happened’ and when some people came towards the group and realised what we were fund-raising for they said ‘we’re not giving to Pakistan’.

“I was absolutely appalled at that minority of people. They ruined what was such a positive experience for the young people, they have never done anything like this before. To the minority I say shame on you.” Inspector Rob Pilling, Commander of Stafford NPU said: “It was great to see the young people taking the initiative on behalf of the county town to help those people suffering as a result of the terrible floods in Pakistan.

“ I was disappointed to hear of the comments made by a very small minority, which have not been reported to Staffordshire Police.

A fund-raising dinner is being held at County Buildings in Market Street on September 10, which coincides with the Muslim holiday Eid-ul-Fitr. Tickets cost £50 and the evening will include an auction.

Mrs Haroon-Iqbal is also organising a fund-raising dress down day for September 10. For more information she can be contacted on 07872 941129

Staffordshire Newsletter